Back in the spring of 2016, I signed up for the Triple Peach Race Series in Atlanta. The Triple Peach consists of running, in the same calendar year, the AJC Peachtree Road Race (July 4), PNC Atlanta 10 Miler (October 23) and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon (November 24). I will be running the Thanksgiving Half tomorrow morning to complete the 3 races!
Today’s blog is about my experience running the Atlanta 10 Miler on October 23, exactly one month ago.
The race number pickup was down at Atlantic Station on Friday and Saturday. I decided to go on Friday right before lunchtime, when I figured the crowds would be pretty low. I grabbed my race number and hoodie (which was awesome!), talked to a few people and made my way back home. There wasn’t really any kind of expo, except for Big Peach Running Co., which had a small area for people to buy shoes, shorts, socks, gels, etc.
On Sunday morning, I made my way back down to Atlantic Station, which had plenty of parking, even though the race was sold out. Atlanta Track Club (who sponsors this race) advised runners to get there 75-90 minutes before the race start, so I aimed for 6am. I got down there with no issues and sat in the car for a while to stay warm.
The weather was actually quite chilly, especially for late October in Atlanta. I ended up wearing a long-sleeve running shirt and a throwaway jacket as a waited in the corrals. I ended up running into an old friend, Joel Beck, in the parking garage and walked over to the corrals with him. Since I am doing the Triple Peach, I was able to self-seed, which is nice. I decided to put myself in Corral C and got myself ready to go.
Now, since this race was literally 2 weeks after the Chicago Marathon and quite hilly, I knew I wasn’t going to break any records. The goal was to have fun and finish injury free.
Once we got started, I found a nice groove and settled in for the 10 miles. Some of the course takes you through neighborhoods in the area. The houses had some great Halloween decor up and a lot of the residents in the area came out to watch and cheer on all the runners. Miles 4-6 included a good bit of downhill (and some light hills in between), so I was able maintain a great pace through these miles.
The course was definitely very hilly (it is Atlanta), but one of the highlights of this race course is running the Cardiac Hill Challenge. Right around mile 7 of the race course, Mizuno sponsors a challenge to see who the King & Queen of Cardiac Hill are as well as the 100 fastest. The challenge clocks your time over the course of a mile as you run a 12 story elevation gain on Peachtree Road. I am always up for a good challenge, so pushed myself through this mile and ended up with my fastest mile of the 10. Take that, Cardiac Hill!
The last few miles had several more hills, but I have to say, the crowd support was excellent. Nothing like people cheering you on to help you push through the final few miles!
I crossed the finish line and grabbed my finisher medal, water, recovery jacket and snack box, before making my way back to the car. Since the race fell on a Sunday and I work in the church world, I needed to get back so I could clean up and go to work.
Atlanta Track Club did a great job putting on a wonderful race experience. I enjoyed the course, crowd support and swag. I definitely plan on running this race again in the future.