Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I ran Peachtree for the 36th time, enjoying it more than the past two for some reason. Think I relaxed and took it all in, knowing that I don't have too many of these left in me. Waking up is the hardest thing for me. There is something wrong with being awake before dawn.

I drove to my usual spot, parking my car in a lot on Peachtree near Piedmont. My friend goes to Ansley Mall, walks to MARTA, rides MARTA which lets you off a half mile from the start. I did this the last two years and it is about 1.5 miles of walking BEFORE THE RACE! My space is only .6 of a mile from the start. It is four miles back to my car after the race, but I like that better.

I had to arrive early before the streets closed. It was raining hard for awhile. Pretty patterns of color appeared on my windows from the raindrops reflecting the city lights along with the police and other emergency vehicle warning lights, red, blue, yellow...very cool. I'm easily entertained.

Extra fencing and more police presence was noticible. The result of the Boston bombing. Soon enough it came time to stroll up to the start area. I found my start wave entrance, a fenced street leading up to Peachtree. Once on Peachtree, there was no fencing along Peachtree. In the past each coral had only one entry point on each side. This fencing was now down the road, preventing free movement of the spectators while allowing us runnings to freely mingle on Peachtree. I liked that as that is the way it used to be.

Mile one is the shakedown mile for me. An easy roll into the flow of things. All systems checked out. In particular my knees were giving me the GO sign. I took advantage of the first three miles being mainly on a downhill slant and gunned it, but did save a little for the upcoming hills.

Mile four is the Piedmont hill, as tought as any hill in Atlanta. I decided to not waste any energy on it, slowly trudging my way up to mile five. Mile five has an upward slant to it, and you are still gasping for breath from mile four. It is not until 14th Street that you feel back in control of your destiny.

Mile six in downhill and fast except the race is not six miles, but 6.2. Having a GPS watch this year, I found out that Peachtree is actually 6.3 miles, a tenth of mile long. Although mile six is downhill, when you include the .3 you have yourself a slow mile. The good news is the finish line is always good to see. I try to look good for the photo, placing myself amongst the runners with good form. You don't want anyone walking in the background of your finish line photo.

I grab all the water bottles I can carry and head for the t-shirt line. The rain had caused the finish area to be a quagmire. Had to watch your step the whole way to the hospitality tents up on the hill. I found the ATC tent. They had a Waffle House breakfast waiting for members. I did a grab and go. There is a party at Ansley Mall sponsered by the half marathon at Brookhaven in the Fall. Free beer is the main attraction. The gay runners have a tendancy toward weird running attire, and it is entertaining to look at what they come down Peachtree wearing. I got a ride with my friend and his daughter back to my car. I missed going back up Peachtree and watching the rear of the race come in. Next year I will forgo the beer and walk back like I did in the past.

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