Friday, July 10, 2015

Peachtree Road Race Recap

When I found out I was selected to run this year's Peachtree Road Race in the race lottery, I was beyond excited.  This race has been on my race bucket list since it's my grandfather's favorite race, so I was pretty excited to be running it as my first major race after having a baby.
The Peachtree Road Race is a 10K run every year on July 4th in Atlanta.  The course takes runners down historic Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta.  It's a point-to-point race, starting at Lenox Square and finishing at Piedmont Park.  This was my first point-to-point race, so I was interested to see how that would work out.

Before actually getting to the race, I knew this was going to be a great experience.  The organizers sent detailed information via e-mail about every two weeks leading up to the race.  I felt very informed about how things would work on race day, and I really appreciated that!

On race day, I woke up to overcast skies.  Joe dropped me off at the MARTA station near our friends' house, and I rode in to the city to the start line.  This process wound up being really easy, and even though I wasn't 100% sure where to get off, I followed some PRR veterans to get off at the right stop.

Since there are 65,000 runners, the race employs a wave start.  I planned on just arriving to the race around my wave's start time, and as I walked up to the start line, my wave was passing right by me.  Perfect timing!
As I lined up with my wave, it started to rain.  I was really not prepared for rain, so this was a bit of a bummer.  I started getting down on myself with how the race would go, but I decided to put those thoughts behind me and go for a great first race postpartum.  In my mind, that meant an 11:00/mile pace.
The rain was pretty steady for the first mile, and about 1.5 miles, there was a crack of lightening and thunder.  I was afraid they'd make us stop the race, but nothing like that happened.  Apparently, it did delay the start for some of the waves.

Despite the rain, there was AMAZING crowd support!  You could really tell what an important tradition this race is to the city of Atlanta.  All of the volunteers and policemen had smiles on their faces, cheering the runners on.  People sat outside of their houses and residential buildings with signs and noise makers.  It was so great to have all of the support throughout the course!

I was feeling great through the first 3 miles.  I'd looked at the course elevation chart, and I knew there was a big uphill section coming (called "Cardiac Hill").  The looming hill messed with my mind during the 4th mile, but after walking up that hill, I had a great rest of the race.

As I turned the corner on to 10th Street and saw the finish line, I got emotional.  I was thinking about my grandfather running that race so many times.  I was thinking about how proud of myself I was for feeling this great 3 months postpartum.  I was pushing myself to reach my goal.  And I'm happy to say that I did it!!
The race course was actually about 6.3 miles, so my time put me under an 11:00/mile pace!
I moved through the finisher area with ease, getting my finisher t-shirt, food box, and a bottle of water.  For so many runners, this was all organized very well and I got through it very quickly.  Big bonus--they gave you a bag to put everything in!  Score!!
Overall, I loved this race, despite the rain!  The organization was awesome, the course is great, the crowd support was incredible, and I had a great race.  I plan to sign up in the future, for sure!

Question for you:  Did you run a race on July 4th?  Have you ever run a race in the rain?


  1. Congrats on a great first postpartum race! What's next on your race calendar?

    1. Thanks! I'm looking in to fall half marathons now, and hopefully my first full in November!