This year was the 50th Peachtree Road Race. As soon as I knew that, I knew I had to participate. I made sure to register for the Atlanta Track Club membership so I’d have guaranteed entry. I was able to attend the expo on July 3rd with my friend Hannah. It was really crowded and after we picked up our gear we didn’t really stay too long. I had a lot more fun at the expo last year. I think because it was such a big deal this year a lot more people attended the expo versus having their bib shipped to them.
On the morning of July 4th, my alarm went off at 4:15 and I got up and started to get ready. I had half of a blueberry bagel, and mixed some Nuun Sport and Tailwind powder in a water bottle that I could dispose of once I was there. I wanted to make sure I was drinking until closer to the race so I’d be hydrated and ready. I headed over to Marta and met up with a couple of friends and we rode Marta in to a nearby station. Then we walked over to the starting corral area. They made us split up because they had faster start waves than I did. Once we were separated, I headed towards my start wave area and made sure to hit the bathroom one more time before starting.
They had us line up and started releasing waves and they had the elites on a big screen and I was lucky enough to see the top male finish. It was really cool and he looked like he could have gone even further. By the time I was about to start, the sun was already up and it was starting to get hot. I was glad I had my hydration vest with me. Finally, our wave was at the start line and we were ready to go. They blew the buzzer and we were off.
Once we started it was a pretty thick crowd. The first two miles weren’t too bad they were pretty flat so I tried to go faster for those. Once we were around mile 3 there started to be some hills and it was definitely getting hotter. I had to slow down and walk some because I felt like I was getting overheated. There were a lot of people spectating and giving out free beer and food. I saw some funny signs along the way. One said “You’re moving faster than Atlanta traffic” and “At least you’re faster than Marta”. When we ran by the church that had water being sprayed that was labeled “holy water” and the priests were throwing water at people and blessing them. All this made the heat more bearable. Then we passed the Shepherd Spinal Center which made you really want to keep going. The patients come out and cheer you on and give fist bumps and high fives. That is the hardest part of the race going up Cardiac Hill. Everyone just walks because it’s so hard and you can’t get around all the walkers anyway. After that it doesn’t seem much further until you start going up more hills. By then it was 93 degrees and I was feeling the heat. I felt nauseous and had to slow down. I made sure to get water at every hydration station. Finally, I hit mile 5 and told myself only one more mile! I tried to pick up the pace, but ended up slowing down again. I kept going and then I saw the finish. I picked up my pace and ran across the line and felt so relieved. Now for a lot of water and food! I got my Peachtree shirt and headed over to the Atlanta Track Club member area to meet up with friends and relax. Overall it was really tough and really hot, but I got through it and had a good time. I definitely recommend you do the Peachtree Road Race at least once because it’s a fun and well organized event. Although no peaches at the finish, what a bummer!