Atlanta 13.1 Race Recap

Half Marathon #21
Georgia race #6
12 in 2012 race #8

The Atlanta 13.1 has been on my race calendar for months.  I believe this is fourth year of the race, but I had yet to run it. was very nervous going into it. I had no idea what to expect and wasn’t sure what my body could take after the ankle sprain and little training. I took yalls advice though-and ran until I couldn’t.


One thing I REALLY loved about this race? 2 weekends of packet pickup. No frills. Easy. I went to West Stride last weekend and grabbed my bib and shirt. The other awesome thing-a virtual race packet. No junk.

I spent the Saturday before the race carbo loading on homemade pumpkin pancakes, Mama’s little Yella Pils, and pasta.

the pancakes are now a fall staple.

The original plan was for P to drop me off at the race and he would go get his miles in while I ran too. That changed very late night/early morning and I ended up driving myself to the race. I was a bit worried about the parking,and when I got there the lot was full. Luckily, I know the backstreets and quickly found a place to park and had about 25 minutes to spare.

I dressed myself in my last race outfit. I didn’t get to finish, and I wanted to pick up where I left off. Plus, I needed to channel that weekend, the girls, the spirit. And who doesn’t love a little sparkle in their life??

the ifitness belt adds some bulge…oops.

Miles 1-8

I expected to see tons of people I knew and hoped to meet up with a few bloggers. Instead, I only ran into one TNT friend. Not normal. I didn’t need to use the bathroom and went ahead and lined up around the 2:15 pacers. There were only corrals for the super speedy-A,B,C and then there were pacers. Kind of a cluster.

The start was slow. It was still dark and I wanted to watch every step to adjust to the road. It was also very congested. I started to quickly second guess where I put myself at the start.  One thing about pace groups, people freak the F out if they are not in the herd. So consequently, rows and rows of people run in a herd and they do not share the course. First plan of action: get in front of 2:15 group. I spent the next 3 miles passing people. I know this is why my garmin miles are long. I was all over that flipping course.

The first few miles were in the dark and in hilly neighborhoods. These neighborhoods also have “speed humps”in them.  I LOVED that the race directors had spotlights on every single one to avoid any accidents (saving my ankle).

Miles 1 through at least 6 were all in hilly neighborhoods. That is all I remember. Hill, hill, hill, cheerleaders, hill, hill, water/powerade, hill, hill, jugglers and musicians. You get my drift.  I actually felt good. No pain. My speed was somewhat there, things were decent. I looked at my watch a few times and was surprised at myself. In my head though, I was a mental case. I just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept wondering how long my body would hold up on pretty much zero training.

only somewhat decent shot of me running and I am a photo with a dude 1/2 way wearing a shirt!?! why not take it off?

After the neighborhoods we had a few miles on Peachtree St. More open road to run in and it was plenty light out now.

Miles 9-13.1

The course turned off of Peachtree and we were back in more neighborhoods. Repeat above: hills, hills, cheerleaders, dancers, hills, boy scouts, hills. Here is where my mind and body started to give out. I don’t know exactly what mile my foot started bothering me-I am guessing around mile 10. I just wanted to rip the brace off. Not only did my foot hurt, but the hills were doing a number on my hips. I guess only running 1 six mile run outside will do that to an undertrained runner.

I spent the next 3 miles counting down. “You can do anything for 30 minutes” “Be proud of what you have accomplished” “Don’t stop running-because if you do, it will prolong the time on the course” “Just finish”.  All of this ran through my head. The ankle itself didn’t really hurt until the last mile or so. I couldn’t even push myself at the finish.

might be my worst running form. EVER. I couldn’t even bend my knees (or so it seems). I think this is at the end. If not, it’s near it.

Official Results

I was incredibly happy with what I was able to do. I definitely didn’t expect to do anything near this.

1010/2807 overall 
339/1517 females 
71/280 females 30-34
i look somewhat happy. 🙂

Garmin Results

You can see exactly where I fell apart and how hilly this race was. Finding a non-hilly race in Atlanta is kinda out of the question.

Post Race

I grabbed my medal and food (chocolate milk, bagels, bananas, pretzels,cookies were all options) and went to find the medical tent. I wanted to ice immediately. Only problem? Medical was off to the side and kind of hidden. I ended up walking around the entire post race, asking where medical was, and no one had a clue. I stopped off to pick up my additional medal I got for completing both the Publix and 13.1 race and went back towards the finish to try and find the medical tent.

SUCCESS! It really was off to the side and not well seen, but I iced for a few minutes and hobbled to the car. I hated that I didn’t feel better and couldn’t enjoy the post race because it looked fabulous. The businesses that were around the finish all showed up to support (only thing I really noticed was a free sandwich from which wich but didn’t want to wait in line), there were massages and music.

I went home to ice and stretch and repeated my breakfast from the day before. Pumpkin pancakes and conecuh bacon. Heaven.



  • course support (from the lighting, to the volunteers and entertainment)
  • medal
  • virtual goody bag (emailed deals to you-paperless!)
  • early packet pickup
  • the shirt
  • post race

Not so Much:

  • no corrals (if you’re going to have 3-you may as well have more to make it easier)
  • course (don’t expect scenic)

The Bling

I love it. Nice lanyard, spinning 13.1. I also chose to get an extra medal for running both the 13.1 Atlanta and Publix 1/2 marathons. I love the race shirt-it’s Craft brand and not cheesy at all. Womens fit too. I also got another shirt for the Atlanta challenge but it’s not womens cut and it’s kinda ugly. I didn’t really want the shirt-just the bling.

the shirts and bling. shirt on right was race shirt.
race medal and atlanta challenge medal
love the detail. notice the state of GA cutout

Final Thoughts:

I would definitely recommend this race. It’s very well organized, perks are great, plenty of aid stations and volunteers, and the bling is pretty cool. It’s a small, big race-not too many participants with the perks of a big race. I will be honest-this is a great race for locals and those that can drive to Atlanta. If I was traveling from far away and/or racing the states, I would choose the sister race, the Publix 1/2 marathon in March. You see more of the city and sights. The Atlanta 13.1 is more of a “burbs” race even though it’s still in the city. But again, if you are local or close enough to be local, come do this race. If you live in or near a city that has an Allstate 13.1 race-I recommend it!  I would definitely run this race again.

 Have you done an Allstate 13.1 race?  What did you think?   



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  • Great job! I have never done a 13.1 race, but I love the ING Miami half so much and it is put on by the same people. Sooo organized, just a great time! I am signed up for the Atlanta half in March and can’t wait!

  • thats awesome that your ankle held up for most of the race! When I ran the Allstate 13.1 in NY the race wasn’t very scenic too—- guess the bling and after race snacks make up for it. Congrats on such a great time!

  • You killed it, girl! Injury does nothing to hold you back! Definitely like the bling. We need some double-medal action around here. Dang.

  • Glad you had a good race and sorry I missed you!

    I was behind that dude in the gray half shirt (he must have slowed way down) towards the end. I was trying to figure out WTH he was wearing. I was wondering if it was a woman’s shrug or if he just halfway pulled his T-shirt off LOL.

    Totally agree with you about the course itself. It was like running a neighborhood long run you might for your own training. Everything was well-organized and such but I wouldn’t call it a destination race.

    The T-Shirt was very nice but I thought it was a little generic. It had all of the 13.1 cities on it but nothing specific to Atlanta. I kicked myself for wearing blue because it looked like I was wearing my race shirt during the race like so many newbies were doing.

    • ooh, you looked like a newbie 🙂 i still can’t believe we haven’t met yet. Not sure what you have coming up next, but hopefully we will soon!

  • Awesome recap! I’m still trying to write my recap. So much to tell!
    You look great, did awesome and should be so proud!! You rock!

    This was my second year doing the race. I loved it. I will say that I totally forgot that it was that hilly. I run in Knoxville which is super hilly so I was prepared and ran ALL the hills this year which is huge compared to last year when I walked them all!

    I’m still bummed we didn’t get to meet! Especially since we lined up in the same place! Eek. SO close! Next time…

  • I am super impressed at how fast you ran this race on 1. a still sore ankle and 2. no training. I don’t think you are giving yourself enough credit for the fitness you have maintained through what you have been doing while you have been hurt. If you can do this after only a little training, I know you can do really big things once you are able to get back to a full training schedule!!! Most important, take care of that ankle!!

  • Great write up! I’m very impressed! Congratulations. I will be running my first Half in November (St.Pete, FL) which is prob a good thing since the two 5Ks I have done here in ATL have been hilly. I think I would like to try the Publix Half in March too…we’ll see how the other races between here and then turn out. (I’m also running Disney in January & February!) -MRScrashmattb

  • So proud of you Elizabeth! You had a great race even with the ankle not being at 100%. This sounds like a race I’d love since it’s smaller than Publix. Hopefully you will get to run this one for several years to follow!

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