Catching a wave

numbersIf you’re signed up for the PRR, you should be getting your confirmation number in the mail this week (or, if you’re a little cheap like me, via e-mail, necessitating you having to do battle with the crowds at the expo the weekend before the race).

As part of the confirmation number, you also get your corral letter, which lets you know what time you start (check out the list of wave starts times here). In a bid to get a decent start time, I submitted my finish time from the Chattahoochee Challenge 10k — a Peachtree qualifier — when I signed up for the race. My finish time of 1:00:33 was by no means Olympic-caliber, but I though it’d at least bump me into the top 50 percent of start times.

So I was slightly disappointed when I saw my letter: N. It’s the 13th wave, starting at 8:27 a.m. It’s not horrible, but it’s further back than I’d like, and is a different wave from several friends I wanted to run with (at least for a bit). I thought about sneaking up a couple of spots to an earlier start time, but I’m a little afraid of the PRR Police getting on my case. Plus, I know the waves are created for a reason, and, being a guilty person by nature, I don’t want to be dogged mid-race with the knowledge that I contributed to lopsided wave count.

Is anybody else surprised or disappointed by their start time? Have you ever sneaked into a different start time?

35 comments Add your comment

Ramona S

June 21st, 2011
2:36 pm

I was surprised that I was placed in “E” and not “G” or “H”. I really don’t like seeing someone from the last group up in my group, but I am not the kind of person to say anything to them.

SMB

June 21st, 2011
2:44 pm

I am in W corral because this is my first 10K, although I have run a couple of 5K’s. I also want to jump into an earlier wave because I want to run with my sister who is traveling to Atlanta for the 3rd year in a row to run the PRR with me. She is in corral D because she finished the PRR last year in 56 minutes. I finished my 5K races in 31 minutes, so I think my time for the PRR will be much more worthy than the W wave I was placed in…I’m thinking more like N, O or P. Plus starting at 9am is not for me! I run at 6:30am and starting that late would suck. I think W is for the walkers.

Burger and Brew

June 21st, 2011
2:46 pm

I was shocked to see I was placed in Coral A. My time from last year has been my best yet. However, I never thought it would get me in that wave. Good luck to all runners and remember to have fun.

Danielle

June 21st, 2011
2:50 pm

I’m in corral M, and I’m happy with that. Last year, I did not train properly for the PRR and ended up walking most of it. So, I’m satisfied with my placement. This year, I have been training and hope to post a much better time for my personal goal and an earlier start time in 2012.

sue

June 21st, 2011
2:50 pm

i was surprised to be in N, especially now knowing what time got in to N! this is my first PRR; i’m wondering if i posted my 5k time under 10k when i registered. i will definitely be starting in a later corral!

Diana

June 21st, 2011
2:58 pm

I am a bit confused by the waves that some people say they’ve been placed in. There are start wave standards posted on the Peachtree road race website, but it seems that they’ve been changed without a new list being posted. My time shows up in Corral B and that is the corral I was place in. But a time of 1:00:33 should place you in Corral F according to these standards, not N. And from what SMB said, 56 minutes still gets you into D (that matches the standards posted). How can 4 minutes mean the difference between D and N?

Parker

June 21st, 2011
3:08 pm

@Diana, you have to remember, those times only apply to those who actually used a timed-race or Peachtree Qualifier so they could be placed in higher start times. If you didn’t you were probably randomly assigned a number based on a number of things.

I had a qualifier time of 50:05 and was placed in Wave B, which makes sense according to the times. But again, if you didn’t register a previously timed race, then it won’t help you with where you start out.

But if you are in a lower number and wish you were in a higher wave, PLEASE DON’T! The race was actually manageable last year with congestion from this new wave process. If I am trying to maintain an 8:30 mile, I dont want to get trapped by a group of folks who have Wave P numbers and may be doing an 11 minute mile. Just sayin…

Sondra

June 21st, 2011
3:11 pm

I am in C… based on my 1/2 mari PR I can see how I got placed there, but due to lull in training I don’t know if I will finish in under 54 minutes. I am glad I get to start a little earlier.

Parker

June 21st, 2011
3:11 pm

But Diana, I do see your point about the hour logged time and being put in N. That doesn’t sound right. But it could’ve been a fluke somewhere in the crazy system they have in place. It happens…

RM

June 21st, 2011
3:15 pm

I am thinking there are only a certain amount of people that can be in each corral. After “B” reaches capacity, where do you put the rest of the “B” people (for example)? … probably in a lower corral…

Lauren

June 21st, 2011
3:24 pm

I was actually disappointed to be moved DOWN a time group this year,esp since my time last year was around the time I submitted previously :(

Che

June 21st, 2011
3:59 pm

I laughed hysterically when I saw I’m in Corral X. I ran the Publix half this year in 1:48:51. I am going to meditate long and hard prior to the race, and do my best just to enjoy the experience.

Craig

June 21st, 2011
4:31 pm

I thought the new way of being able to sign up as a group meant you would be placed in the same wave as everyone who signed up within your group. 4 of us signed up in a group and we all got put in different waves. None of us sent in a qualifying time. Was there a mistake made or did I misunderstand the reasoning behind signing up as a group?

Still waiting

June 21st, 2011
4:44 pm

I still haven’t gotten my email confirmation. According to the website, we were supposed to have them by June 20. Tick tock, Atlanta Track Club.

Diana

June 21st, 2011
4:50 pm

@Craig. From what I understand, the idea between signing up as a group was just so you all would either get in the race or not get in. That way you wouldn’t end up in the race and want to run with 3 friends, but none of them got in. I don’t believe it had anything to do with start waves. You all can still run together, you’ll just have to run in the latest start wave that one of you was assigned to.

agree

June 21st, 2011
5:04 pm

Just enjoy it.The Peachtree is not the time to worry about setting a new pr.I run all year and love it,But some people take this race way,way to serious.If no coins are coming your way from this race,RELAX!

Angel

June 21st, 2011
5:53 pm

I got X and since im a walker, I guess it was fitting. It saddens me when I see people talk about those of us who are just starting out, trying to get fit, or maybe just venturing out and doing something on their bucket, get talked about so badly by ‘elitist’ runners who only view us as an obstacle. We are only trying to get to where you may already be. I hope once I become a true runner I don’t have the same attitude toward those who are working on their fitness and trying to experience things they never thought they’d accomplish.

I just started walking in February, completed my first 5k in March, and 3 5Ks and 1 7K later, I’m doing the PRR, my first 10K. I’ve lost 24lbs and luckily I have not let the running snobs discourage me.

Debbie

June 21st, 2011
6:04 pm

The PRR is my first 10K and I’m doing it more for the experience than anything else. I’ve been running 5K’s for about a year and my submitted time of around 37 minutes put me into the K wave. Which now surprises me based on what I’m reading here. I’d rather be running with those who run at my pace and thought that was the purpose of the different corrals.

Yvonne Zusel

June 21st, 2011
7:15 pm

@Angel — I think it’s awesome that you’re running! I think people just get frustrated when they get a start time that’s waaaay slower than what they would normally run. Good luck to everyone!

Craig

June 21st, 2011
7:44 pm

@Diana- thank you for the info!

Diana

June 21st, 2011
7:54 pm

@Angel and @Debbie- I think it’s so great you’re running! If you’re out there doing it, you are a “real” or “true” runner, however fast or slow you’re going. It’s great you’re doing your first 10k. Peachtree is such a fun event. I hope you have a great time and don’t let anyone ruin it for you.

Maj Parson

June 22nd, 2011
5:13 am

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are running a 10K out here at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Its not the PRR but it is the closest race I could find for this Marietta, Ga Native. Semper Fi

ATLNick

June 22nd, 2011
6:15 am

@Maj Parson Thanks for your service! We are all thankful we have the freedom to run the PRR because of you and all the troops serving! Thanks and good luck in you 10K!

Gen Neyland

June 22nd, 2011
6:16 am

If this is your first PRR you’ll see that by mile 1 to 2 it’s more an event more than a race for the majority. Most people get the jitters at their PRR1. You’ll snicker at yourself for having them. Guaranteed…

As for moving up Waves to run with friends or a sense of being jilted time-wise, may a pox set in to those that violate this code of ethics on Raceday…

Old timer...

June 22nd, 2011
8:01 am

Ditto on the thank you for Maj Parson.

My first PRR was 1978 and I ran 30 in a row till 2009. I’m in again this year and I’ll be walking about half of it! (bad knees).

It’s been interesting to see how the race has changed over the years. In 1978 I believe there were about 10,000 and that was a huge increase from the year before. The ATC and the paper were all speculating if they could handle 10,000 runners!

I realize you have to have corrals for 60,000 people which is a reason I probably won’t do it every year going forward.

I don’t care for the finish line on 10th street, even further away from the Marta stations (and they quit having the bus shuttles). I enjoyed finishing IN THE PARK, but again I know you cannot do it that way with 60,000.

I don’t care for having to go downtown on Saturday the 2nd to get my numbers for me and my family but I sure as heck wasn’t going to pay the $7.50 a piece to have them mailed. I liked the EXPO when it was in Buckhead and the only way to get your number was through the mail.

Oh well….times change.

@angel

June 22nd, 2011
8:17 am

Good for you!!! We all started at one time.Too bad some of the snobs forget that.Don’t worry about folks like that because they are everywhere you run.If you do 3 miles they will say they did 10,You ride a bike 20 miles,They rode one 40 miles…And it is not just the younger ones,19-30.I’m 52 and just started 2 years ago and will be running in D wave.Hang in there because you will also find some of us care more about people than a fast race time.

notasnob

June 22nd, 2011
8:55 am

I think some just get frustrated by people locking hands and blocking others.And walkers that stay on the left side.If we ALL could be a little more courteous it would help but asking for that these days? Good luck!

RM

June 22nd, 2011
11:27 am

“I think some just get frustrated by people locking hands and blocking others.”

I’m cracking up! Yes, this is it exactly. I am all for walkers walking, just not blocking! Having to dodge people takes too much time and energy. I am usually a middle of the pack runner so I make sure to stay out of the way of people that are faster.

AllisonC

June 22nd, 2011
12:54 pm

This is my first PRR. I didn’t run a qualifier race, but did a few 5Ks with times that should put me in around Corral N. I am in Y, so praying for a nice “cool” morning that holds til past 9am! HA. Can’t wait, should be fun, and I am running “solo”. I promise not to hold anyone’s hands (how can you do that and run anyway?). Good Luck everyone, lets have some fun.

Colleen

June 22nd, 2011
3:11 pm

I got in The very last corral . . very disappointed … I hope Peachtree has a nice prize for us! If it’s not fun, it will be my last Peachtree & I have done enough to know its better to be in the front. It’s cooler, Porta potties have paper, fewer paper cups to step over, more bystanders, more giveaways to front runners & better chance of getting the right size t-shirt. It might even be hard to be present @ the airlline trip giveaway with a start time of 9:05 –unless Peachtree didn’t put any gray numbers in the later corrals. Oh well, live & learn . . . maybe the Braves game & fireworks will be the highlight of this trip to Atlanta rather than the road race.

Sharon

June 23rd, 2011
6:30 am

This is my first Peachtree Road Race. I’m in “R”, group. Figured,I would have been placed, in one of the last groups. Was very surprised.

Robert

June 23rd, 2011
11:28 am

I was in “T” last year and worked hard to qualify for “D” this year. I would rather not see people sneak up to earlier waves.

Derek

June 23rd, 2011
11:31 am

This being my first Peachtree Road Race, I didn’t know anything about start waves when I registered for the lottery. I’m in the last wave-Y. I ran a 5K in 23 minutes about a month ago and plan on finishing the PRR in around 50 minutes. Is my slow start wave going to be a problem? With there be other runners in the wave? Can I just start at the front of my wave and bypass all the walkers holding hands? Etc?

Colleen

June 23rd, 2011
5:17 pm

Derek- you have a great time. Try to get seeded next year. You can start @ the beginning of your corral, but you are still behind 55,000 people! I think you will be running around people most of the race. There will be other runners in the corral, but they will have the same problem. The saddest thing is missing the National Anthem–maybe we can watch it on TV & then head to the race.

BlahBlahBlah

June 24th, 2011
6:40 am

Last year my time was good enough for B. This year the same time dropped me to C. I think the ability to register 5k times has made getting into early corrals tougher. If everything goes well I will post a time that gets me back into B next year. Ultimate goal would be to get in A. I loved the new setup last year. Much smoother.