the peachtree from time group 6

We woke up to this sunrise from our hotel room, abnormally cool temperatures and low humidity (49% – which for Atlanta is LOW).

July 4th Sunrise

All very good signs.

And we needed good signs.

Because we did not train for this race, save one 3 mile run about four weeks ago.

Tim said he wanted to finish faster than last year (last year was painfully slow… 1:07:something).  I just looked at him all, “was it just me…or did we actually TRAIN before the race last year?  How about this time we just work on the finish part?”

It really didn’t matter what I said.  Once he had that goal in his brain – it wasn’t going anywhere – and if we didn’t achieve it…disappointment would be abound.

We took our time getting ready and making our way out to the streets buzzing with activity.  There is no stress.  We know what to expect and what to do and where to go.  We refuse to take Marta the morning of race day.  We learned the hard way the first year I ran it by myself.  You have to get up ridiculously early, pack yourself into a tin can with thousands of people, try to give yourself enough space just to breathe while more and more people clamor on…and when you finally arrive at your final destination, everyone is so sweaty and hot you may as well have already run.

So we stay at the race’s host hotel…where all it takes is a short walk to our start corral.  Thank you, Intercontinental.  We love you and your pasta with chicken and broccoli.  However, if you’re going to put someone in a “Club Level” room – a simple heads-up to let them know they need to insert their room card into the hard-to-find slot below the number buttons in the elevator would be GREAT. 

Last year, we must have gone up and down the elevator fifteen times, tried holding button #22 the entire way up, got off on floor 19 and hiked the stairs from the nineteenth floor and found there WAS NO DOOR for floor 22, walked back to the elevator in utter confusion, out of ideas (ASKING someone was out of the question at this point), until someone well versed in Club Level rooms happened to walk into our elevator from the Lobby – we had resigned ourselves that the elevator would be our room because getting to floor #22 was just an illusion – slid his card in a little slot, punched #22.

And the button STAYED LIT and took us all. the. way. up.

This year, we walked into the elevator and saw a guy that looked like he had spent more than a little time in there, pushing #23 to no avail.  We gave him our little secret and saved him from going insane.  You’re welcome, guy going to floor #23.

So this morning.  We got downstairs and joined the people traffic along the sidewalks to get to the start corrals, found the corral for numbers 60,000 – 69,999 and waited.

You do a lot of waiting.  Which is hard for my non-patient personality.

You also do a lot of people watching – which helps with the waiting.  Within our corral we had Super Woman, a guy in a big, patriotic Mad Hatter hat and LOTS of people in later time groups that decided time group 6 was where THEY should be.

I can’t help it.  That REALLY BOTHERS ME.

We all get numbers for a reason.  If it was a free-for-all then ok – I get it.  Jump in wherever you find a spot.

But the race organizers even TELL YOU IN THE DIRECTIONS not to do that.  If you’re in time group 4 and want to run with a friend who is in time group 6 – that’s fine.  But if your race number starts with a 7 and you decide you want to sit with all the people whose race numbers start with is 3…


Oh?  You forgot to read the directions?  So you’re exempt?

We had to move away from all those people…because it was making me mad.  I would shout out “Cheater Face!” as we walked by them to a different spot.  Tim looked at me all, “SHHH! They’ll hear you!” And I was all, “I KNOW. That’s the point.”

Once we go to the start – about an hour after we initially got there – and began the race, my legs started screaming at me like, “what do you think you’re doing?”  Thankfully it only lasted for about a mile or so…then they went to their usual numb state and stopped protesting.

The route and its shenanigans are the same every year…and I will never understand why one stops for beer and doughnuts.  Even if I was only there to walk…eating and aerobics are two activities I do not do at the same time.  And beer at 8am is just…how do you even DO that?  I guess I should have asked the drunk guy we passed, offering up beers from his own stash and calling us all “sissies” because we didn’t take one.

It got hot.  We ran through mist sprayers. Chugged up Cardiac Hill, watched a small child pass us, listened to church bells, guitars and drums, made the turn on 10th street, watched another small child breeze by, held up our hands at the spot where they take your picture and then raced across the finish into Piedmont Park.

In 1:06.

Faster than last year.

With no training.

As we were walking to pick up our t-shirts, Tim looked at me and said, “I saw on my watch at mile 6 that we could beat our time.”  And those last few tenths…we were RUNNING.  No jogging, no slow was an all out sprint to the finish.

After we gathered up the post race stuff, including a few mini-Larabars I had to fight for…those were like the hot new item or something…everyone HAD TO HAVE ALL SEVEN FLAVORS and would not leave until all seven were secured in their bag or bra or wherever they would fit…we walked about another mile to Marta, remembered to get off at the correct station, showered and then went to eat at the usual post-race place – as our Peachtree tradition is now four years old.  We stay at the Intercontinental, go to the race expo in the hotel’s meeting rooms, order room service spaghetti for our pre-race dinner, run the Peachtree, shower at the hotel, check-out and then drive less than a mile down the street to Maggiano’s for lunch.

It’s the same every year…but we love it.


2 Responses to “the peachtree from time group 6”

  1. 1 Shannon July 5, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Congrats on beating your last year time! Now you know you can sit and not even think about next years race til the day before and you should still beat this years time.

    • 2 Jessica July 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      Exactly. Except…somehow I don’t think it will work that way…Tim does…he’s convinced. No training = fast running (though “fast” is really slow…as we aren’t exactly in the elite status…more like middle-to-back-of-the-pack)

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