The Peachtree Road Race 10K Race Report

It’s funny to write out the entire name.  In Atlanta, it’s just “the Peachtree.”  This was a race I knew would be on my calendar a year ago after I ran it for the first time. I am a member of the Atlanta Track Club so I had early entry into the race to guarantee my number.  This year I would be running with 59,999 of my closest friends.

Last year I dressed up with my friend Ryan and we ran the race together.  It was only a week after my first marathon and I had no goal-it was supposed to be more of a recovery run.  This year my life was straight up chaos from the move and I hadn’t had time to come up with a costume much less think about the race and my plan.

I decided Sunday morning that I was just going to run my race.  I wasn’t going to dress up, I wasn’t going to run with anyone, I just wanted to run for me.  I wanted to push myself and see if I could PR.  I knew it would be tough with the heat and the crowd but I figured, why not.  I wanted to see if RLRF was helping.

I waited until late on Sunday afternoon to pick up my race packet (not like me at all-usually early and all planned out).  I have gotten to the point with some race expos that I have “seen it all” and that was the case with this one.  It was insanely crowded and the aisles were very narrow.  I grabbed my bib, said hey to my TNT peeps at the booth and left.

I had a nice relaxing night out with dinner and a movie and did my best to go to bed early on Sunday-I knew I would be getting up before 6 because the ATL track club was telling everyone to allot an hour before the race to get there.  OUCH.

Pre Race

Well, I learned early that morning that Atlanta is a ghost town on July 4th.  I was dropped off near the start and it literally took 8 minutes to get there from my house.  I still had an entire hour until the actual start.  I walked up towards the mall area (where the start was) and found my corral and headed to do a warmup run and some stretches.  Before long it was time for the National Anthem and the fly over.  So cool.

Race Time
I was in Corral B (elites, seeded, sub-seeded and then the Alphabet to Z) so I was able to start around 7:35 am.  Being up front also meant that I could actually run the race and focus.  I had my head phones ready and plugged them in about a 1/4 mile into the race.  I knew if I didn’t use music I would get distracted by the crowd.  I know that sounds crazy, but I think there are just as many spectators for this race as there are runners.  Moe’s was throwing out T-shirts, McDonald’s was handing out the new frozen drink things (or thats what it looked like), Trader Joe’s had bottled Water…and that was all just in the first mile!
Only annoying part of the race is the people with lower letters that just cut in line and don’t care about time and start walking early on in the race.  My note to those people:
You were put in a corral for a reason.  Those of us at the front are RUNNERS.  We are RUNNING not WALKING. Most of us run for time.  IF you are going to CHEAT then stay to the right like the race info packet says.  DO NOT start walking on the left side of the course.  thanks for letting me get on my soap box…i’m off now..
I felt great until about mile 4.  I realized I was going so fast that I wasn’t stopping to get enough water in and I could feel it.  I had also just finished cardiac hill, which in all honestly, it isn’t that hard after running the streets of Atlanta over and over again for the past 2 years but it still hurt in the heat and no water.  I actually passed a fair amount of runners on the hills.  THAT is a great feeling.  
I asked one of the volunteers if there was gatorade and realized its a water only race.  I don’t know how I forgot this but I really wished at that moment I would’ve had a sports drink.  I looked at my watch and realized I was kicking it and if I could maintain I would be able to PR.  I stayed focused and pushed through the pain and anxiously awaited the sign of the finish…the one turn off of Peachtree headed towards Piedmont Park.  
I killed it.  Over a minute PR in the heat and humidity and dead of Summer.  50:36.  And thank the Lord that was over. :):)
Garmin Data:

Official Race Info:

I was REALLY happy with the results.  To finish as the 705 woman out of over 25,000…pretty cool.

Post Race
The Atlanta Track Club really does an amazing job with the race.  The finish area was so organized!  First stop (after water) to get the coveted shirt…which I ended up hating for the second year in row.  So ugly.  Who in the hell votes on this (we can vote out of 5 shirts for the winner and it is “announced” when you get the shirt at the finish)???

Then the picture taking and food and meeting my friends.  I realized after finishing my water that I still wasn’t sweating and I was dehydrated.  Luckily I found my way over to the popsicles and Powerade and the cold towels.  Best 10K ever. :):)  I felt better and we hung out and listened to Yacht Rock Revue play at finish area for a while.

I finished the morning with a fabulous brunch at Murphy’s and an afternoon at the pool (attempted fireworks that night but the rain ruined it).  Couldn’t ask for a better 4th!

Overall/Final Thoughts
I will do this race year after year.  It is so fun!!  The crowd and volunteers are great.  Only hopes for change would be add sports drink on the course, enforce corrals better, and make the expo bigger.  Oh, and a cooler T-shirt :):)

i had to “borrow” it for now…can’t figure out how to make it bigger. :)

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Elizabeth

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