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A Peachy Run May 6, 2009

Posted by bettyjoan in Races, Running.
Tags: , ,

Last Saturday, instead of our normal brick, the team headed to Brookhaven to run in the Big Peach 5K.  Not only is Big Peach a fantastic running store, but they also raise TONS of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society every year by hosting this popular race.  Even though my birthday was the day before, I managed to keep the celebration small and get to bed relatively early in preparation.

After picking up a teammate, we arrived at the Brookhaven MARTA station in plenty of time to get our numbers, chat with fellow TNT-ers, and use the illustrious porta-potties before heading to the start line.  There was a hill right at the beginning of the course, so my gal pal and I pushed our way toward the front/middle of the pack so we could get off to a good start.  After the gun went off, I decided to haul ass and do a really fast first mile (for me, anyway)–and I left my poor friend in the dust!  According to my Garmin, my first mile was done in 9:20, which is a definite record for me.  Woot!

Early in mile two, I started to tighten up a bit, so I took the occasional walking break (never for more than about 30 seconds or so).  When I saw another teammate in front of me, though, I sped up just to give her a good ass-slappin’ (and then thought better of it, as she had her headphones in and I didn’t want her to punch me).  I was feeling pretty good about myself as the second mile ended, and I thought I might be able to finish the whole race in about 30 minutes.

Then, the madness began.

We were running on Piedmont, and they had the two right lanes closed off with cones.  An elderly lady approached the road in her giant land yacht (from an assisted living center parking lot, no doubt), and the race volunteer stopped her and told her she’d have to wait.  Grandma either didn’t hear or didn’t care, because she barrelled onto Piedmont anyway.  She plowed into a female runner (who probably has a nice bruise on the back of her thigh), and volunteers, racers, and police officers alike were screaming at her to stop driving.  Some were even pounding on the hood of her car, but she didn’t seem to notice anything weird.  After making sure folks were okay, I just kept running, hoping that she was done wreaking havoc.

Sadly, that was not the case.  Just as I was getting ready to sprint toward the finish line, I heard a voice behind me yelling, “Watch out behind you!!!  She’s still driving!!!”  Sure enough, I turned around to see the front of her car making contact with the back of my leg.  As I jumped onto the sidewalk to get away, I definitely screamed some words that I wouldn’t repeat in front of my grandmother.  Hell, who am I kidding–my grandmother is awesome.  Even SHE would have cussed out this crazy old bat.

Despite my run-in and my demonstration of how NOT to respect one’s elders, I made it to the finish line in 32:12, which is about 6 minutes better than my last 5K and is my current PR for that distance.  There were some awesome goodies to be had at the post-race expo (including Waffle House water bottles, Vitamin Water, and pizza), so after grabbing some free stuff and chatting with some teammates, I headed home to celebrate my birthday AND my race completion.

While I wasn’t hurt and the story is actually pretty funny, this is a good time for me to plug the RoadID.  I bought mine after I watched a cyclist get REALLY hit by a car over at Columns Drive.  Basically, RoadID is a tag (they have bracelet, anklet, and shoe-clip versions) that has your name, vital info, and emergency contacts on it, in case anything should happen to you while you’re out exercising.  They come in all kinds of colors and styles, and they’re actually quite comfortable to wear (I got the anklet version, in pink, of course).  It’s a great investment, especially as the weather warms and people are exercising more outside.

Just watch out for the old people…RoadID can’t help you there.  😉



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