The Peachtree Roadrace is the biggest running party in Atlanta and perhaps the world. It’s also the world’s largest 10K and one of the largest overall races to take place yearly across the globe. Held on the 4th of July, you are guaranteed to get a splash of freedom as you run the course.
I’ve come to really love this race for a few reasons. It’s my fastest Atlanta 10K. (The year it was shut down while a storm passed.) I’ve loved enjoying the course with both local and national friends. My good friend Jeff Galloway also won the first one 49 years ago. I also think of the race as a way to celebrate the legacy that he has built in his lifetime.
If you want to do this race I would suggest joining the Atlanta Track Club. You are guaranteed entry and with next year being the 50th, I would expect the lottery pool to be larger than it ever has.
The Expo and Pre Race
The expo is really a good experience. It’s well organized and has a good variety of A-level vendors. There are races from all over the South there where you can get some great sign up deals and you just may run into Jeff or Barb at their booth. We typically spend about an hour here but have blown as much as 2hr here in the past. They also have a nice kids area and a huge sale on past track club event shirts.
This was the first year that we stayed near the start line. There are definitely pluses and minuses to the strategy.
- + We could leave the hotel almost at start time. If you have a coral that’s a few back and arent with a group you can actually leave after the first people start and still get there in plenty of time.
- + Sleeping in and no stress before the race. Our hotel also was giving out some food items for people on the way to the race.
- – The trip back to the top of the race is brutal. Brutal!! It’s over a mile straight uphill to get to a bus to ride to a train to get back to the room.
- – We typically park at the end and walk/train to the front early in the AM. The plus to this is when we are done running, we are close-ish to the car and can get out of the area.
Either way, you’ve got to make sure that you are dressed up for the race. You can go cotton teeshirt and mowing shorts, but what is the fun in that? I try to go head to toe America these days for the race.
We certainly enjoyed the “late” wake up call and being close to the start. We met up with our friends and headed out to the start.
My personal goal is to eat a whole meal plus on the course. It’s that stocked by the people of Atlanta! I eat fairly light the night before and don’t have breakfast before the race. We eat nearly from end to end of the race. We had Krispy Creme, popsicles, pizza, muffins, kabobs, oranges, sandwiches, candy and other fun stuff.
You also see a bunch of fun groups out there. There are a group of guys that go all out every year. Last year they were astronaughts and this year they were a water polo team. We also saw a full Marta Train and other crazy costumes.
I think our favorite stop is always the Shepherd Center. It sits on the course and they will bring their patients out to cheer and see the runners. We love to run through say hi, and say good morning to them. They are just about the only non-food thing that we stop for. They always give out wrist sweatbands, so that’s where the green ones come from in our pics.
It always goes by way too fast! At the end, you get your finisher’s shirt. It’s a surprise of what it’s going to be until you get there that morning. They also give out peaches and Coke at the end as well. If you are a track club member you can also enjoy a private retreat area, although you have to get fairly speedy or they will run out of stuff before you get there.
The Peachtree Roadrace is one that I highly recommend. See you at the 50th!