So…how’d it go?

ajcpeachtree.0705JGHappy post-PRR day! Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July and a great run. After all the build up to the main event, it’s kind of hard to believe it’s over. As a Peachtree Road Race newbie, I’m happy to say I had such a good experience that I’m already looking forward to next year’s race. I was impressed at how well-organized everything was and had an awesome time people watching — and of course celebrating post-race with a giant brunch. Here are some of my highlights — and just a couple of lowlights — from yesterday:

THE GOOD:

The flag: Seeing the giant American flag hanging from the crane at the starting line was an inspiring way to start the race.
The costumes: There were the expected red, white and blue get-ups, which were nice, but I loved the unexpected — the group of guys dressed as bald eagles, the girls in nude body suits and neon wigs who made me do a double take, the runners in head-to-toe colored spandex suits. It was a fun way to distract myself when I was trying not to focus on how hot and sweaty I was.
The vets: At mile four, I passed an older man wearing a sign on his back that said, “This is my 32nd Peachtree.” Riding MARTA after the race, I talked to a man who had just completed his 25th PRR. It made me want to want to rack up my own completed Peachtree  number.
The bands: I love a race with some diverse live, local music along the course. I made note of a classic rock band, a rapper and an indie rock band that kept me entertained.
The spectators: The enthusiasm of the people watching was infectious. It’s amazing what hearing a stranger scream, “You can do it!” can do for your motivation.
The finish line: I think this goes without saying.
The post-race eats: I don’t think a peach ever tasted as delicious to me as the one I got from the Publix tent at the finish line. The cookies were nice, too.

THE BAD:

The freebies: Don’t get me wrong — I love me some swag. But the T-shirts and Frisbees being thrown onto the course in front of Moe’s created some gridlock — I couldn’t believe how many people stopped right in the middle of the course just to get a free T-shirt with a burrito on it. You get a T-shirt at the end of the race that you already paid for, people! Keep running!
The running etiquette: Or, rather, the lack thereof. I’m going to give people who stopped to walk the benefit of the doubt and assume that they didn’t know that, just like the highway, slower traffic should stay to the right.

THE UGLY

The heat: I knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any easier.

What were some of your good, bad and ugly moments from yesterday? For other newbies: Did the race meet your expectations? What would you like to see for next year?

25 comments Add your comment

DHD

July 5th, 2011
10:03 pm

Loved it!! I beat 42,000 runners!!! :)

Handicapper

July 5th, 2011
10:07 pm

I thought the race was well organized this year. I recorded the race and saw something funny when I got home. The bald eagle guys, if you’ll notice, have elite numbers. They were at the start line with the Kenyans and when the Peachtree started a couple of them took of like a rocket. For 15 seconds or so the Kenyans were getting left in their dust. A prank thought of by many, but perhaps never as well played.

Chelle

July 5th, 2011
10:10 pm

The race was great and the peaches were awesome! I do have to say though I’m always frustrated by slower folks not staying to the right, but as a person that slows down on the right being knocked over by runners who don’t move left is just as bad.

ACE

July 5th, 2011
10:12 pm

I agree about the freebies. Not only does it cause gridlock, it is down right dangerous. I saw a girl get knocked to the ground by some guy diving for some crappy T-shirt.

This was my 15th PRR! I still love every minute of it!!

Nancy Miller

July 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

I am. A walker, and this is my 3rd Peachtree. the first two, Iwas in waves at the back of the pack, and by the time I got to mile 4, all that was left were empty cups and abandoned stages. But this time , we were in M, and we really had a totally different experience. I am very grateful to the runners for sharing this event with walkers…and I would like to remind walkers that if they want to continue to be welcome, they need to really be conscious of what is going around them. I felt really bad for the runners who were dodging around walkers near the left side of the rode, especially in the last mile of the race. I am proud that I was able to improve my still tortoise like pace despite the heat and humidity, especially after the uncharacteristically cool and dry race of 2010! looking forward to next year!

Nancy

July 5th, 2011
10:27 pm

I am a walker, and this was my 3rd race. I am grateful that the runners are willing to share this event with those of us who are somewhat speed challenged! I am proud that I shaved 6 minutes off my tortoise like pace, even in the heat and humidity. I actualy enjoyed this year much more than 2010, probably because I was in Wave M instead of W! Last year we finished so late, most of the excitement was over before we finished. I am looking forward to next year, And the joy of bighting into a juicy Georgia peach when it is all over!

Ed Buckley

July 5th, 2011
10:29 pm

The F-16 Flyover before the race was AWESOME !! It gave me chills!

Susan

July 5th, 2011
10:31 pm

Lots of good things to say about the race organization and the race itself! However, the empty paper cups covered the road at times and created some slippery moments. Is it possible to drop the empty cups closer the the edges of the road? Looking forward to next year~

Carol ilovecondiments

July 5th, 2011
10:32 pm

I’ll start with GREAT – The Home Depot tent in the park – although I am no longer employed there, they could see I was in dire need of water and carbs and welcomed me in – I ate their scrumptious and juicy orange wedges like a starving animal. THANK YOU for probably saving me from the medical tent, HD!

Good – Um, I finished? Finally? And no blisters!

Bad – Doraville MARTA station – I decided to go there instead of my usual Dunwoody/Perimeter station this year. Never again. Had to park 1/2 mile from the station, took 20 minutes to get my ticket, and missed my wave start by 20 minutes.
Bad – Heat, worse than expected. Do not remember much of the last mile. Yikes! (Yes, I hydrated well for at least a week beforehand and trained in the heat at the end of most days I worked out.)
Bad – At Piedmont Park – Did not see any peaches or cookies. Water was HOT in the bottles. Did get a half of a banana. One end was smashed. :(

Ugly – Nothing ugly.

Scary – More people down with medics than I have seen before. The heat really did a number on many of us this year!

Inspiring! – I passed a 90 year old man who had many cheering fans along the route. He was all smiles as I passed and said “you have a lot of fans out here!” When I was leaving the park I heard them announce him crossing the finish line.

For next year
- More garbage cans. They are always overflowing.
- If not cold (yeah yeah, I know, but it sure feels good), at least cooler water than hot?
- NEVER pull up the “finish line” from the street until you’re sure the last person has gone over it and has had their picture taken! I saw times of 4 hours plus out there. Think of the accomplishment for those people, whatever their story (unless of course they stopped for a drink on the way…). :)
- Is it possible to get busses to shuttle people to the train stations? I would pay ahead of time to make that happen! LOL!

See you next year! I hope to cut my time in half next year.

mirandalambert2012

July 5th, 2011
11:06 pm

I liked how they divided the groups into more numbers and I knew when mt start time would be. I did not see a water stop on the second mile so that was disappointing (maybe I just missed it). The one thing I dont like and believe needs to be addressed is that they need to get the finishing line a little closer to the MARTA station. We had to walk from the finishing line to the MARTA station and it seemed like it had to be about a 2 mile walk that was pretty much entirely all uphill. Thats crazy. One of these days someone is going to pass out or something worse. The race organizers really need to do something about this. Otherwise everything was fine. I would also like to say I think the brunnettes had better running outfits than the blondes did. Sorry blondes, the brunnettes and redheads outdid you yesterday. Just sayin’.

DAWGSTYLE

July 6th, 2011
9:59 am

The giant flag and THE FLY OVER was Awesome !!!! “chills”. The heat was terrible. I agree was the bloggers and the walkers, I did run the whole race (slow) and I wish if a participant must walk PLEASE get right of the center line !!!! Just a thought… how about having the bagels and bananas closer to the Poweraide and water. They could not of been further apart ! Any way to have shuttles at P.P.to the Marta station ??? It was my 11th year in a row and I really enjoyed it !

Walkers To The Right

July 6th, 2011
1:48 pm

While some see the Peachtree as a party and others as something that they don’t have to train for (since everyone gets a t-shirt), there are those that wish to RUN the race. For this reason, race organizers should consider placing signs in the medians every half mile or approaching water stations that points walkers to the right and runners to the left.

That Was More Than 6.2 Miles

July 6th, 2011
2:26 pm

My team and I had a blast this year! HOWEVER, let’s be honest, after running/walking the actual race we were so disgusted that we had to walk an extra “10 miles” to reach the Marta Station. Where were the shuttles!

CJM

July 6th, 2011
2:30 pm

Great organization, this was my first PRR and I was very impressed how well organized and right on time everything was, from taking Marta to the Family Meeting points. A+

The bad: the walkers taking the left, the center and the right of the road. My run tracker showed me that I ran 6.41 miles instead of 6.2. I guess I had to zigzag .2 miles.

I will do it next year, GREAT event.

PRR newby

July 6th, 2011
3:57 pm

As a first time participant, I thought the organization of the actual race was superb!! The party atmosphere was contagious. The worst part of the day, without question—MARTA. The ticket machines at the Doraville station were the longest lines of the day,, even at 6:00AM, and could the MARTA employees be a little more rude?? I agree with the need for transportation from Piedmont Park back to a train station. I’m sure MARTA makes enough profit on this single event to provide busses to shuttle runners to train stations.
I will certainly participate again next year, but MARTA won’t be a part of the event for my family and friends.
Job well done organizers!!!

notasnob

July 6th, 2011
3:58 pm

CJM,The walkers get the right side we can’t have it all :-) I thought everything but the HEAT was great.But what can you do,it’s July in Atlanta.IF the guy that yells in your face at mile 5 gets in my face again next year,He will need medical help and I will be going to jail.Other than that,Great race!

Dreamer 3K

July 6th, 2011
5:31 pm

This was my third Peachtree Road Race. Great event but what I dread most is my inevitable pre race trip to the port-a-potty. They are absolutely DISGUSTING. Next year I’ll hydrate less beforehand and risk passing out if it will help me avoid the pre race potty.

robert

July 6th, 2011
7:38 pm

Enter your comments here

robert

July 6th, 2011
7:43 pm

race organizers have to make a better effort to make people walk on right run on left as usual just like driving on 285 I ran on right side to get away from slow people on the left

loudog

July 6th, 2011
9:49 pm

i wish that people would not bring strollers to the expo and i agree for more trash cans and shuttles up the backside of the hill to marta. Oh and yes the right side is for slower runners or walkers so if your looking for a PR stay to the left the far left, even people who train like me get hot and have to take a break, and yes keep all the freebies to the right side of the road and everyone should be happy

Dennis Murray

July 6th, 2011
10:15 pm

The Peachtree is one of two races I’ve run in my career where there are actual spectators. It makes for a much more fun event!

Really glad I earned my spot in the “A” group this year and was able to start early. It made for a better experience than prior years. I didn’t notice any of the freebies when I came down the course – so maybe that got ramped up a little later as the crowd moved down the course.

I was a little underwhelmed by the music along the course – again, might have been an early vs. later thing. I wish DJ’s would let Kool and the Gang (or any other Jock Jams) have a rest and come up with something a little fresher.

Marie

July 7th, 2011
3:20 pm

This was my 9th Peachtree. Why was the color grey used for the tees 2 years in a row. For the past 3 years, the volunteer shirts were nicer than the runners. Don’t use white or grey for the next 10 years.

Jake and Jennifer

July 7th, 2011
6:59 pm

That T-shirt was ugly and horrendus and showed no talent

Jake and Jennifer

July 7th, 2011
7:01 pm

We’re letting West Georgia College pad the voting. They don’t have anything to do but vote all day. The rest of us work. We need to figure out another way to choose the winning shirt.

lettherunners

July 7th, 2011
11:44 pm

vote on the shirt! After they reg they get a one time code to use to vote.I know someone smarter than me can do this & make it work but there is your idea.