The much anticipated race day had finally arrived. We awoke early and arrived to the race start on Peachtree at around 7:45. The traffic was a breeze and a special shout out and thanks to our drivers, Nurse Patty and Bretters!
As we made our way through the masses to our race corral, our first stop was here:
After the porter potties, and waiting extra time for the ones with toilet paper, we went to the start for the 80,000 group. The way it works is you are allowed in the race corrals based off of your number. The fastest people are at the front of the race and I am convinced the rest of the numbers are just randomly divided out. Natasha and I had numbers in the 30,000's and 40,000's. Everyone else had numbers in the 80,000's. Since you can always run in a later group, but those with a later number cant come forward, we all ran in the "8's."
Here is a picture of Team Peachtree 2009 at the start of the race:Pin It Now!
Front - L to R: Em, Me, Tash, CT3
Husband and Wife! Also CT3's first Peachtree!!
Sisters! Also, Kristin's first Peachtree!
We finished our pre-race photo shoot as our corral moseyed forward to the start line. They stagger the start times, and as the previous group starts, your time group moves forward until it is your turn. The highlight of the day came when Natasha commented on the giant "WALK" signs that were held high in front of us. She thought they were walking lanes for those who would not be running the race and stated how thoughtful that was to have lanes for those who were moving a little slower...We later informed her that they were actually signs telling our group to WALK forward to the start. I love that girl.
Anyway, the start line came into view, our team did our team cheer, started our watches and took off on the 6.1 mile course.
The Peachtree Road Race start line.
Usually in the races, we all start together and a few miles in, split. Those who are actually in shape typically leave us wannabe runners at that point. This race was no different. Natasha and Emily our team trainers and running queens took off at around 2 miles in. Kristin, CT3, Mary Katherine and I pretty much stuck together. I don't know if that was 100% intentional (Kris & MK planned to run together and CT3 and I), however our pace was the same and it made for more fun along the way, so I was glad it worked out as it did.
Along the course were all sorts of bands, companies and of course friends cheering the runners on. Can I take a minute here just to say how much I love race supporters. For some reason even someone you don't know who is standing on the side just cheering seems to spur you on up one more long miserable hill. So in case I never say it again, thank you to those who came out and watched!
When I saw the fire truck, I turned to CT3 and yelled, "Look! There's your man!!" I was merely referencing the firefighter in full garb out to support the race. CT3 jokingly asked me a few minutes later not to yell about him and men while we were at Piedmont. He he he. (For you non-Atlanta natives, lots of men who like men are in that area. Nothing against them, just not CT3's style!)
Anyhoo, the race was fun and we were trucking along when all of the sudden we turned a corner to the final homestretch and Mary Katherine took off like a mad woman. Kristin started to pick up her pace too. I quickly glanced at my watch, did a quick calculation and figured that based on the pace we were running, though it looked like we were almost at the finish we had .7 of a mile left to go.
I yelled at Kristin, slowed her mid pace and warned her that if she started her finish line sprint now, she better be prepared to keep it up for at least 3 more minutes! Seeing that Mary Katherine was already out of ear shot, Kristin slowed down and saved her final burst for another minute or so. Finally this glorious mile marker came into sight and Kristin, CT3 and I gave it one final burst of energy as we headed for the finish line.
Crossing the finish!
We held hands crossing the finish, with our arms held high, in hopes of a quality picture from the "official photographers." The race ends and dumps into Piedmont Park where you are funneled through lines to pick up your race tee shirts and grab bottled waters.
Given the number that was expected at Piedmont Park all at once, we had made a plan that if we were split up, to meet at the "B" balloon. Side note and race tip: While not all races have giant balloons flying in the air with letters plastered on them, I highly recommend having a back up plan to find your friends and family, should you accidentally get split up.
CT3, Kristin and I went straight to our designated marker and found Em, Tash and Mark waiting on us. CT3 and my official time was 1:06:36. I think Em and Tash finished around 1:03 and change.
Our post race meeting spot
This is like a Where's Waldo picture gone bad!
After the race, we headed to Natasha's for some grub. She had taken the time to pick up bagels, cream cheese, gatorade, and fruit and put together everything for an after race brunch. Her house was literally a block from the finish and so we scooted there and relaxed for a bit before heading home. Since Kristin and I had dropped off the car there the night before, it was super easy getting out and getting back home.