A Little Travelin’ Music, Please

“I’m going to say right here that I’ll get my time under an hour, well aware that the world will be able to see if that happens on ajc.com.” – My blog, posted 7:24 pm April 14, 2010.

“[A better number] would greatly improve my shot at reaching the 60-minute goal I’ve worked toward for 12 weeks.” – My blog, posted 6:36 am June 22, 2010.

You win this round, Gebre Gebremariam.
I can’t say I’m surprised the Ethiopian beat me and the rest of the field to the finish line of the 2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race. Even though I made a brash challenge to Gebre and the other elites last week, all I really hoped to do was to run the course in less than 60 minutes.
When I called up the race results on ajc.com Sunday afternoon, I immediately wished I had picked a slightly different goal. Next to my name the tote board read: 1:00:00.
If I had only set my goal to finish “in an hour” instead of “under and hour” readers of this blog would have taken it to mean the same thing.
And today I could claim spectacular and improbable success. Runners World would probably do a big story about the 51-year-old average runner who calibrated the time of his one-hour 6.2 mile Peachtree run precisely to the second.
Instead I’m left with this unsettled feeling that it’s reasonable for me to hold up the “I DID IT” card that came in my T-shirt bag. But the official record will forever show I fell one digital tick short of my goal.


Defending the “I DID IT” photo, I also wrote in several postings since April that I wanted to be a 60-minute man and also shave about 15 minutes off my 2009 Peachtree time. Done and Done. But there’s no question that I placed emphasis on my quest to finish under an hour.
I have no way of knowing if the eighteen other Peachtree runners this year with times of exactly one hour had the same goal as I did. I bet, like me, they have since wondered what they could have done differently to be one second faster Sunday morning.
Longer training runs? A more aggressive approach to the hills in miles four and five? Pick up the pace toward the finish at the 10th Street turn? (I did that one).
Or, use a strategy I suggested back in April, be 20 years old?
The truth is I’m pretty happy with my 2010 Peachtree and falling one second short gives me something to shoot for next year. Interacting with readers on this blog gave me lots of great ideas that got me this close to reaching my goal.
I’m signing off for the season with this last post. Thanks to everyone who took time to follow along and especially those commenters who offered tips and encouragement.
I’m still pretty sure I can run the Peachtree in less than an hour. Now I’ve got a whole year to shave off a skinny second. Got any tips?

7 comments Add your comment

Scott Helms

July 6th, 2010
7:15 am

You broke the hour threshold. The reason I say this is because it is impossible to have “run the tangent line”. Wearing my Garmin, with fancy, schmancy GPS, I measured the course at 6.31 miles (a full 8/100ths of a mile longer than official). So crack open a bottle of champagne, smoke one of your cigars, and celebrate. You did it! Congrats!


July 6th, 2010
7:21 am

You did a great job. This was my first Peachtree and I finshed in 1:32:15. Not bad for a over 300+ pounder. I hope I can shave 15 min off my time yearly like you did. Keep up the good work

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July 6th, 2010
7:30 am

My goal was 44:00 and I beat it by almost 30 seconds (handicapped with a full bladder and only 3 hours sleep). I really expected to do much better! Here’s a tip. Many in my group couldn’t enter the gate until after the race started. When we got in I waited about 20 seconds to let my group spread out. The first mile was still crowded by my time didn’t start until after I crossed over the starting mat. Next year it’s sub-seeded for me!

Congratulations to all the finishers (and those that didn’t). I’ve enjoyed the blog and look forward to next year. Only 363 days left to train!


July 6th, 2010
8:15 am

I agree with the above — my garmin measured course at 6.31 miles also. Shave that off your time and you did it!


July 6th, 2010
9:35 am

Agreed, my husband and I both had garmins and they registered “overage” also. So, you probably did it in 59:30 (30 seconds was what my “finish time” was over according to the clock and my garmin watch). I also had the same goal 59:59 and it took me 1:02.45!!! So close but there is always next year. My first 3 miles were 28:30 so I was right on track to do it but like you, cardiac hill and the hills on 5 (which are worse to me) kicked my butt! Great job and looking forward to next year!


July 7th, 2010
8:36 pm

Your blog made me laugh. I, too, had a goal of running the Peachtree in under an hour. I was amazed to see my clock time came out to 59:59. Maybe it was that extra kick leaving the port-a-potty in mile 2 that did it for me. :)