I hadn’t received my AJC Peachtree Road Race confirmation email Monday morning before people started complaining in the comments section of last week’s blog post that they lost the lottery.
Race organizers confirm that expanding the race by 5,000 runners to 60,000 for 2011 left about 2,000 people who entered the lottery on the outside looking in.
Condolences to any shut-outs who had their heart set on running the Peachtree this year, especially anyone who has a long streak going of under ten years. (If you were shut out and have at least ten Peachtrees under your belt, you can appeal to the Atlanta Track Club and ask for a dispensation).
One good thing about the lottery – it did apparently eliminate the technical glitches from past years when everyone tried to access the online sign up at the same instant. This year the online system worked well based on everything I’ve heard.
In my slacker days – the two decades before last year at this time – I put my running shoes away for the winter and put off beginning training for the Peachtree until the spring was well under way. For a long time, under the old paper system, I waited until I got my bib number in the mail as the signal it was time to start training. I had to abandon that practice when bibs started arriving about a month before the race.
Still, until last year I hadn’t taken a serious approach to my Peachtree training in more than 30 years. After I signed up for the race last year I volunteered to write a blog for ajc.com from the perspective of an average runner. A friend at work suggested I use the blog to set a public goal of running the Peachtree in less than an hour in 2010. I know thousands of runners covered the course faster than that last year, but it was 15 minutes faster than I ran it in 2009.
After a spring of more disciplined training than years past, I ran the 2010 Peachtree in exactly an hour. After the race a friend I run with, who also has a history of taking winter months off, said we should keep up our training during the “off season.”
And so we have. I’ve run a 5K on a cold and rainy morning a week before Christmas and kept up my training during a steady drizzle on New Year’s Day. I’ve adopted a bit of a holiday running theme, since I also ran a 10K on St. Patrick’s Day.
I’ll share some of my experiences and tips here in coming months. Commenters on this blog offered me some great advice during the 2010 spring training season and I’m sure that will happen again this year.
Starting next week I’ll be posting to this blog twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays leading up to race day.
And even though I’ve become a bit more of a serious runner than I was before last spring, I have no intention of taking things I post here too seriously.