While we’re all still basking in the glow of our silver Peachtree t-shirts, and whether by laziness or celebration our orange D-Tags still hang on our laces… I want to thank the Atlanta Track Club and the AJC for another great year frolicking down Peachtree Street.
As always, it was humbling seeing the wheelchair racers take off, and inspiring to rub elbows (from afar) with the world class runners. I tried chasing down Dire Tune for an autograph, not only a top finisher in the 10k, but an amazing marathoner as well. Trouble with being star-struck with runners, is that you can’t quite chase someone down who has the ability to run a 10k 20+ minutes faster than you.
Overall, Sunday was a successful day. I met my brother and his lady for a nice pre-race walk from Brookhaven to the start line. After pausing for the national anthem, and maybe hiding a few tears (you try singing the Star Spangled Banner on Independence Day next to two Army officers, one of whom you’ve watched grow up), we parted ways for our respective start waves.
After getting my boyfriend’s number changed with the ATC, I did go back to Group B to enjoy the run with him. I was surprised to see a much larger group of people in Waves A & B this year.
Though it took Doug and I a lot longer than anticipated to get past the crowds at the start, we enjoyed the first few miles, hiding in the cool shadows provided by Atlanta’s tall buildings. Before we knew it, we’d conquered cardiac hill and made our way to my family’s water station.
After a nice visit and some photo opps, we continued on our way. I forget that running with a Peachtree newbie, you have to warn them about the fire hydrant messes, point out the Fur Bus crazies, and explain the “fake finish line” photo opp just before Mile 6. After all these years, it’s fun to see Peachtree through new eyes. And then… all too soon… we crossed the finish line.
Despite stopping for over a minute to visit with family and friends at the water station, we managed to produce a new PR time for Doug, in just over 54 minutes. Sometimes not racing is more rewarding than chasing my own personal record. I may have jogged my way down the course this year, but I had the opportunity to watch my boyfriend get bitten by the running obsession bug. That, along with the fresh Georgia peaches at the finish line, made this run another amazing part of a Southern-fried Atlanta tradition.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank John McCosh for proving that the Babe Ruth ability of calling your shots is still possible. The legacy may have begun with a home run sent directly to a place pointed out by a baseball bat, but continues with a 1:00:00 mark solidly hit. He called his net time… and my clock time. Just the ongoing magic of the AJC Peachtree Road Race!
Thanks for joining us on our 2010 Peachtree journey, and I wish all of you the best in your future running endeavors. I hope everyone else’s experience was just as enjoyable. I know I speak for many out there when I say I’m already looking forward to next year!
People ask why I run. I say, “If you have to ask, you will never understand.” It is something only those select few know. Those who put themselves through pain, but know, deep down, how good it really feels. -Erin Leonard