Back in the spring of 2017, I signed up for my second consecutive Triple Peach Race Series in Atlanta. The Triple Peach consists of running, in the same calendar year, the AJC Peachtree Road Race (July 4), the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler (October 22) and the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon (November 23). I will be running the Thanksgiving Half in a couple of weeks to complete the 3 races!
Today’s blog is about my experience running the Atlanta 10 Miler on October 22. 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 runner’s shirt, 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 not especially cold, especially for late October in Atlanta. I ended up wearing a short-sleeve running shirt and decided against bringing a throwaway jacket as I waited in the corrals. One of the differences from last year was that the Triple Peach runners were not able to self-seed, so I ended up in Corral D. Fortunately, the corrals started every 3-4 minutes so I didn’t have to wait too long to get going.
Now, since this race is literally in the middle of my Dopey Challenge training 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. The course this year ended up being a little different than last year, but still takes you through a lot of cool parts of Atlanta, including Atlantic Station, Peachtree Road and Piedmont Park.
One of the highlights of this race course is running the Cardiac Hill Challenge. Right around mile 2 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 difference this year was instead of running up the Cardiac Hill, we actually went DOWN. The challenge clocks your time over the course of a mile as you run down Peachtree Road. I am always up for a good challenge, so I pushed myself through this mile and ended up with my fastest mile of the 10. Take that, Cardiac Hill!
The course was definitely very hilly (it is Atlanta), but I actually felt very good about my overall pace. I think the weather and crowd support had a lot to do with it. Nothing like people cheering you on to help you push through 10 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. I ended up with a 9:35 overall pace, which for “taking it easy” was a solid pace/time.
All in all, Atlanta Track Club did a great job putting on another wonderful race experience. I enjoyed this new course, crowd support and swag. I definitely plan on running this race again in the future and hope to get Rachel out there with me one year!