Archive for the ‘Peachtree Road Race’ Category

Heat Check: The Braves are hotter; Tech has a spiffy cistern

Georgia Tech's new indoor practice facility. Cistern not shown. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Georgia Tech's new indoor practice facility. Cistern not shown. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

One day late — hey, Monday was a holiday, though not for me — we offer our weekly Heat Check of the local sporting entities. Given that two of our professional teams are locked out, maybe we should rename this feature Slim Pickin’s. (Not to be confused with the gifted thespian Slim Pickens. Definitely to be confused with former Falcons No. 1 pick Bruce Pickens, who was much less gifted than Slim.)

The Braves: They’ve won six of seven, and they should have won seven of seven. The Sunday loss to Baltimore was a case of bad luck, iffy umpiring and one lousy pitch from Scott Proctor. They’re still not hitting for average (.237), but they’re pitching like champs (ERA of 3.04, best in the business). Imagine if they’d hit just .250, which really wouldn’t be asking so much. The National League average is .251. Heat Index: Not quite scorching, but temperatures are definitely above …

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The Peachtree Road Race: ‘Bigger and hotter’ but unchanging

That's Blanche Roberts on the left, Joan Ingram on the right. (Photo by M. Bradley)

That's Blanche Roberts on the left, Joan Ingram on the right. (Photo by M. Bradley)

For a rookie watcher, Jeff Smith picked the ideal spot — on the shady side of Peachtree Battle, seated on a brick pillar. Then again, he did have some feel for the AJC Peachtree Road Race, having run the event 20 or so times.

But not on July 4, 2011. Smith’s foot had been hurting, and he was a spectator at the 2 1/2-mile mark awaiting his wife and his 12-year-old daughter, who were running/walking the Peachtree. And already Smith, an Atlantan since 1988 who’s a technology manager, had seen something new.

“Those guys up front,” he said. “They really run fast.”

Such is the scope of the Peachtree that you can run the race and see a couple hundred thousand folks along the way without ever espying the elite runners, who start first and are long gone by the time the masses begin their trek. “Those guys finished 40 minutes ago,” Smith said, and still the 42nd Peachtree was in its nascent stages.

The …

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Presenting the first-ever Peachtweet Road Race!

Aloha from the A-T-L! Happy Fourth! (Photo by davidcsawyer via Twitter)

Aloha from the A-T-L! Happy Fourth of July, mainlanders! (Photo by davidcsawyer via Twitter)

I asked for help, and you kind folks obliged. I asked for your Tweets via Twitter describing your Peachtree Road Race experiences, and you Tweeted like little birdies. I thank you for your help, and for cheering me up on a day when I was somewhat angered by the cheating I saw ongoing. And now to your more cheery submissions:

Valtool, July 3, 12:50 p.m.: I earned 7 Ptree shirts btw 96 and 07. Sitting this one out w/diabetic foot. Reporting live from Kennesaw.

richdanielson, July 3, 12:51: At Expo. (He attached a photo, which is below.)

BluelandOutsidr: July 3, 1:10: Ill be glad to provide updates … from my couch … :)

Friday at the Expo. (Photo by richdanielson via Twitter)

Friday at the Expo. (Photo by richdanielson via Twitter)

eltiar, July 3, 4:39: First run in 9 mos. was Thurs … it was 45 min. and followed with yoga … I’m 21, so I think my body will hold for Peachtree.

LBMedia, July 3, 8:15: Hey mark I will be tweeting during the Peachtree …

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A race of 6.2 miles, but not, alas, for everyone

It’s a great event, OK? As I’ve said before, it’s the great Atlanta event. But when you’ve observed as many Peachtree Road Races as I have, you pick up nuances. And this time it wasn’t a nuance. It was blatant.

I arrived Saturday morning at my viewing spot of choice — Peachtree Battle, about two miles into the course — and the first runners I saw were two ladies. One of them had a race number in the 30,000s; the other was higher still. Given that the seeded elite runners hadn’t yet passed, it was clear these two had not, shall we say, participated to the full extent of the rules. And then a spectator asked the question I was too angry to pose:

“Did you all start early?”

(In other words, did you cheat?)

And one of the ladies said, referring to the apparent difficulty of doing it the right way: “It just takes too long.”

A stipulation: “Cheating” in the Peachtree isn’t cheating the way Rosie Ruiz did it in the 1980 Boston Marathon — jumped on the course late, got to the finish …

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A Peachtree/Twitter request, and a thank-you note

The plan was to take an entire day off, and I still plan on accomplishing most of that. But I felt I needed to do two things:

First, I want to repeat my request from earlier this week: If you’re running the AJC Peachtree Road Race or watching or volunteering or just passing though Atlanta and you happen upon it … send me a Tweet via Twitter describing your Peachtree experience in 140 characters. (I’m @markbradleyajc, and my Twitter profile page is here.)

The idea is for an enterprising journalist — that’d be me, believe it or not — to take the Tweets and patch them together into some sort of pointillist Peachtree portrait. (My middle name is Andrew, and I adore alliteration.) Don’t know if it’ll work, but I thought we’d try. So please help. I’ll be in your debt. Speaking of which …

I’m already in your debt. I’ve never spoken of page views with you before and don’t plan to make a habit of it, but I’m making an exception today because this little blog just went over two million …

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A journalistic experiment: Twittering the Peachtree!

Having lived here 25 years and covered the AJC Peachtree Road Race every way you can cover it — I’ve done the start, the finish, the winners, the average runners and the spectators, and once I even rode the media truck — I’m trying to think of some other way to do it this time. And here’s what I’m thinking:

My name is Tom Sawyer, and I should let you folks do it for me.

I’ll be there Saturday, but I know from having been there before there’s no way for one person to grasp the totality of a 6.2 mile race that includes 55,000 participants and hundreds of thousands of watchers. Can’t really write the big picture when all you’re seeing is one corner of the frame. So I’m thinking, in this new wired world of ours, there might be a workaround.

I’m thinking Twitter.

I’m thinking you folks — runners, friends and relations of runners, non-affiliated observers, anyone with a Twitter account — should send me your Peachtree 2009 experience in a maximum of 140 characters. (Runners don’t …

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