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My First Peachtree (awwww…) July 13, 2010

Posted by bettyjoan in Races, Running.
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Other than three years in Tennessee (law school) and three years in DC (work), I have lived in the Atlanta area since I was six years old.  Yet, until this past Sunday, I have never run the Peachtree Road Race – weird!  Our family vacation used to always fall around July 4, and, of course, I have really only recently (within the past 2 years or so) gotten into the whole running/racing/athlete thing.

This year, when I learned that our vacay would be in August instead of July, I made a vow to register for “the Peachtree.”  Thanks to a VERY good friend, I even scored early registration – woo hoo!  So, that’s how I found myself, on July 4th, 2010, running from Lenox to Piedmont Park with 55,000 of my closest friends.

Yep, I said 55,000.

You really can’t imagine what it’s like to run in a race that size until you actually try it.  On the one hand, it was awesome to feel so much energy, but on the other hand, it was hard to generate any speed or rhythm.  I tried to put in a solid effort, while not getting so caught up in pacing that I missed the whole spirit of the event.  There are so many people – reportedly something like 150,000 – out there cheering for the runners!  I even saw Max Cleland out there rooting for people (I really should have stopped for a photo op – the man is a hero).

The course is a tough one.  The first three miles are mostly flat or downhill, but then Peachtree takes you straight up – and as you huff and puff past Piedmont Hospital, you really understand why they call it “Cardiac Hill!”  I decided to take it easy on the uphills in order to save a little oomph for the finish line.  I felt strong for most of the race, and the weather could not have been lovelier – a little cooler than previous weeks, and WAY less humid.

At the end of the day, I finished in 1:15:45, and as a bonus, I got to cross the finish line with a couple of my TNT buddies!  Next year, though, maybe I’ll find out what it’s like to be one of the people cheering…with beer…

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