This Fourth of July, fireworks is one of the least exciting events happening in Atlanta.
Instead you’ll find the city buzzing with thousands of people at 6 AM for the Peachtree Road Race, one of America’s largest 10ks. There is no better way to start a day of BBQs and cookouts than with a 6.2 mile run surrounded by 60,000 other people with a passion for running.
My goal to race in Peachtree is not just for the thrill of running in such a large and well-known race. For me what is more important is racing in memory of the runners in my family that have raced before me: Mommom and Poppop (my grandparents) and my mom and dad all hit the road before me.
Mommom and Poppop were avid runners, competing in the Boston Marathon on the 100th running and multiple races year-round in Florida. They would travel from Florida to run in Peachtree, and this year I will be remembering their running legacy in my family as I tackle the course.
My dad was also a marathon runner and raced the Peachtree several years, some sub-seeded. His advice: Don’t go out too fast because it is all downhill the first 3 miles. Stride down those hills but save your energy for “Cardiac Hill” where the course drastically changes.
I’ve been looking forward to this race since I moved to Atlanta, but when I registered I was worried I wouldn’t get the experience I wanted. I registered without a seed time and everyone told me I would most likely be in one of the last waves (W or X.) But by some miracle (I blame Mommom and Poppop) I received my number and I will be seeded where I belong in A! Goal time: sub 43:00.
I would love to hit 42 flat, but there are a few factors that could determine that:
1. Race Day Weather: As a Floridian I am not worried about the temperatures. It has been a mild summer for me in Atlanta, and humidity is nothing compared to Tampa. With a 7:35 start time, I should be done before it really starts scorching.
2. Race Day Nutrition: I talk about this in every blog post but I always mess it up. I’ve began carbo-loading early and will culminate my pre-race nutrition with a pasta party with fellow runners Wednesday night. Just like high school cross country! The morning of, I’ll get to the race start an hour before, and I plan on trying the Bonk Breaker by Ironman. Its a low GI energy bar. Nuun will provide hydration that is light on the stomach but still gives me electrolytes.
3. Race Day Strategies: Front left is the place to start. Being in corral A, we race right after the seeded and subseeded Kenyans and sub-5 minute mile runners. Crowds will be heavy throughout the race. I am checking out Kevin Graham’s blog (manager of Phidippides) where he gives some great tips on how to tackle the race.