On Thanksgiving Day, I ran the Thanksgiving Half Marathon in Atlanta, otherwise known as the Turkey Trot. The race started and ended at Turner Field. Part of the excitement of this race was completing the Triple Peach challenge with the Atlanta Track Club, which consists of completing the AJC Peachtree Road Race on the Fourth of July and the Atlanta 10 Miler in October.
I started the day early on Thanksgiving morning by heading down to Turner Field. Runners were instructed to arrive early, as the traffic was expected to be heavy that morning. So while the race didn’t start until 7:30, I decided to arrive around 6:15, and planned to sit in the car and wait if needed. I ended up arriving with plenty of time to spare and was able to sit in the car and relax and mentally prepare for the hilly race ahead.
I had no time goal in mind, as this half was my seventh half marathon of 2016. Because of the hills, my goal was simply to finish and enjoy the race! Not to mention being able to celebrate Thanksgiving later that day with the wife’s family and eating lots of food.
One of the nice things about running in the Triple Peach was being able to self-seed, so I decided to start in corral B.
Just a few minutes after the 7:30 start time, I was off! Having never run a Thanksgiving half, I wasn’t sure what to expect, crowd wise, but was pleasantly surprised at the solid number of spectators on the course.
The race takes you through different parts of the city, mostly through Midtown and Downtown, through Atlantic Station, Piedmont Park, and past the Capitol Building. The first half of the race wasn’t as hilly as I was expecting, but the second half made up for it! Fortunately, I eat hills for breakfast! At one stretch, around mile 10, there was a good half mile incline that I flew up and past several people.
One of my favorite parts of the race was coming up on the state capitol, which was toward the end of the race.
I crossed the finish line, completing the race with a pace at around 10:30, which I felt really good about, especially because of the many hills. The weather was more humid than I was expecting, so I felt good about that aspect, too.
Overall, it was a great race! There were close to 10,000 runners between the 5k and the half. The medal and pullover I received were awesome, and because I completed the Triple Peach, I received another medal and special long-sleeved shirt.
While I don’t know if I’ll do this race again (by myself, at least), I’d be interested in doing it again with either Rachel or another family member or friend. One of my biggest running goals for 2016 was to run more local races, and the Atlanta Half Marathon was my sixth Atlanta race of the year. I look forward to more races in Atlanta in 2017!