The importance of start wave placement times

Submit a start wave placement time -- or live to regret it! -- Photo by Johnny Crawford,

Submit a start wave placement time -- or live to regret it! -- Photo by Johnny Crawford,

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to register for the AJC Peachtree Road Race…it seems like only yesterday that we were discussing our favorite — and just a few not-so-favorite — moments from last year’s race. With the deadline for registration fast approaching (you have until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, March 22 to get in on this — register now before it’s too late, go go go!), it’s time we had a frank talk — go ahead, sit down — about submitting start wave placement times.

I learned the importance of this the hard way last year, when I apparently didn’t enter the correct time from a PRR qualifying race and ended up getting a less-than-desirable start time. So, learn from my mistake — that’s what I’m here for (well, that and complaining about having to do training runs in ridiculously high humidity). In the “Start Wave Placement”  area of the registration form, make sure to include a finishing time from a PRR qualifier on or after Jan. 1, 2011 (options include the Chattahoochee Challenge 10K and the Charles Harris 10K) if you want to run in the top seed. Or, submit a time on or after Jan. 1, 2010 to be placed in the appropriate start wave based on your finishing time.

If you don’t care when you start the race — or if you know you’re going to walk or run very slowly — your start wave time probably doesn’t matter much to you. But if you want to get placed in the correct start wave — i.e. run with people at a similar pace — it’s pretty important that you include that finishing time, or risk being thrown into a random start wave. That could mean having to dodge around people slower than you, or being mowed down by people faster than you, and in general feeling cranky and annoyed. Which is no way to run a race — it should be, yknow, all happiness and puppies and rainbows. Right?

Do you have any words of wisdom regarding submitting start wave placement times? Share them below!

2 comments Add your comment


March 21st, 2012
9:50 am

I think there are walkers in every start wave, so unless you’re just really fast, your start wave only matters as far as not having to wait to start.
I do quite a few 5Ks and 10Ks, and have done one Half Marathon (none of them with anything resembling speed), and the Peachtree is by FAR the MOST fun event of any year, even if 6.2 miles is closer to 7.1 by the time I maneuver around all the walkers. :-)
Thanks for this event!


March 21st, 2012
3:05 pm

The early you start the race, the cooler the temperature. Last year I was lucky to be in wave A because it was a scorcher for those poor later wave people.