This race has always been on my radar, but the Publix 1/2 has always been my front runner race. For some reason this year, I decided not to do Publix (so many others on my calendar) and this race sort of fell into my lap.
The Junior League of Atlanta puts on the race at Atlantic Station, which is close to my house…so all in all a win/win race option for me. The only downside? The race was on daylight savings time. So up an extra hour early.
The beauty of my somewhat planned-not-really- training plan is that I can rearrange my schedule right now to do more races. I decided the 10K would be in the middle of an 8 mile tempo run.
I got up, had toast and peanut butter, coffee and nuun and headed to the race around 7am. Thank goodness the race was at a place with public bathrooms because I had to GO. I still had plenty of time to chill in my car for a few minutes before doing my one mile warmup.
1 mile warmup: 8:56
I headed to the start line and randomly ran into my mentor from TNT/friend, Ashley. We started pretty close to the front, but I had no expectations of keeping up with him. The 10K started on one side of the road and 5K on the other and we merged shortly after.The course had a few hills and was a double loop for the 10K. The first few miles I was fine. I felt like I was making an effort, but it wasn’t too hard. Just like a tempo run should be! I had in my head that my tempo pace should be between a 7:30-7:58.
I knew the big hill was coming up Northside and would be followed by a nice downhill to the second lap and tried to conserve some energy for the next 3 miles. Apparently, I settled down the nerves and excitement after mile 1 and stayed where I needed to be.
Mile 1,2,3: 7:25, 7:30, 7:31
The crowd thinned once the 5Kers split off and I was ready to tackle the back half of the race. The course took me by surprise when they added a hilly out and back, but it gave me the opportunity to look for other runner friends.
Up another hill and I was starting to feel it. I was ready to be DONE with hills and hard effort. I told myself to stay on the lower end of your tempo goal (since I’m still not doing 800s, I want my tempos to count with hard effort). I had started to catch up with the walking 5Kers and none of them seemed to know, or listen to, the stay to the right rule and I had to dodge a lot of people.
Final hill up Northside again and then to the downhill. I knew I was okay because I was able to have a conversation with the guy next to me…until I passed him.
Miles 4, 5, 6.2: 7:23, 7:44, 7:27, 7:14
A few turns and then a sprint to the finish line! A totally unexpected PR. 46:51:32!
I ran my last mile of tempo nice and easy (8:38) around Atlantic Station and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
I went back to the finish area and ran into Ashley and we decided to loop around the post race party. There were a ton of vendors with food (juice bar, gluten free muffins, larabars, chips) and even a purina dog station with dogs doing tricks.We found the West Stride photo booth and had to partake…
And we stuck around for the awards to see if I placed. Luckily sticking around meant running into Melissa (and another running friend Andrea who I failed to get a pic with).
BOOM. 3rd place AG means a medal! A great way to start my Sunday…until I got home and realized my tempo pace should’ve been 7:40-7:58. Oops. Good news? I felt great that day and the day after…so didn’t seem to do any harm.
If you are in Atlanta, I would definitely recommend this race.
- It’s kid and pet friendly (strollers and dogs on course and even a kids fun run)
- Plenty of post race entertainment (dog show, irish dancers, snack stations)
- Easy parking (Atlantic station has plenty of parking since it’s an outdoor shopping mall)
- 2 aid stations- I feel like you never know if they will have them or have enough and this race had 2 in just the right spots!
- Male and Female cut shirts
- Nice Awards for AG placers
The only negative I can say is the walkers that didn’t stay to the right. I’m not that surprised based on the type of race it is, but for those looking to race, it’s something to be aware of.
I hope to do this race again in the future!
this race entry was given to me by the JL of Atlanta but the review of the race is my own!
Did you do a St.Paddy’s Day themed Race? Do you ever run your regular training runs in the middle of a race?