Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 Peachtree Road Race Recap

Cloudy skies. Rain. Cool temperatures. Sounds just like a race in the middle of the summer in the South, right? So this may not have been your usual Peachtree Road Race but that doesn't make the experience any different. There were still LOTS of runners (66,000!), great crowd support (free snacks on the course!) and of course the feeling of competing and completing the "World's Largest 10k" in its 46th running. The race had plenty of excitement even before the first wave was even released. Lets go back to the beginning (yes, I know that sounds like a Hilary Duff lyric but it felt necessary!).
Finally at the Start of the Peachtree Road Race...in Wave P

I knew when I started running that the Peachtree Road Race held in Atlanta, GA was a must-do on my list. Last year was my first "Peachtree" as they call it and it was seriously one of my favorite race experiences. Like it was almost runDisney caliber. The weather was beautiful, not too hot for the summer, clear skies, and my outfit was on point (I mean I was wearing a red, white and blue flower crown). The race was such a hit for me that I knew I had to put my name into the Peachtree Lottery for 2015. The lottery system was created for this race since it is such a huge event and I have been lucky enough to have made it two years in a row! But, lets cut back to Friday, June 3rd 2015. The day before the race and of course as we were making our way around town I had to stop for some touristy photos. After all this is also a travel and fashion blog! There is so much cool art in art in the ATL, it's one of my favorite cities.

We stayed at the Hyatt Atlanta Midtown and I think we found a new must-go hotel for this race in the future. The rooms are beautiful but the best part is the location! You can walk to lots of restaurants and shops (so much easier than driving) and it was located so close to Piedmont Park, which is actually where the race ends so it made getting back after the race a breeze.

Since this is such a large race, I would advise you to book your hotel sooner rather than later. This is a point to point race, meaning that the start and finish are not the same location. The race begins near Lennox Square and ends in Piedmont Park. If you are traveling to the race, you have to make the decision to stay at the start area of the race or the finish line area. I think the finish is easier but that's just my opinion. You will have to ride the MARTA (ATL's transportation system) at least once so be sure to take $3 with you to handle that cost. I much prefer riding the MARTA in the morning then just walking back to the hotel. However, if you aren't a morning person and think you may miss the start, staying at a hotel around Lennox might be more beneficial for you. Anyways the bottom line we really enjoyed our hotel! After we checked in we decided to walk around and look at all the cute little shops and decide on a restaurant in the Midtown area. We decided on 10th and Piedmont. It was delicious.  I didn't even get any pictures of our food it was that good. I would definitely recommend the lamb sliders and the chicken and waffles (I know great pre-race food) but my absolute favorite thing we ate was the chocolate soufflĂ©. It was one of the best desserts I've ever had and that is saying a lot! GO TO THIS RESTAURANT!

I was excited to be doing this race with a friend who is from Atlanta and when he asked if I had looked at the weather I knew that was a bad sign. It either had to mean that it was going to be super hot (which I could handle) or the worst thing ever...rain. It was definitely rain. And it looked like a lot of it. Maybe the weather app would be wrong? I kept waking up to check outside and look at my phone to see any weather developments. Not going to lie it was looking rough. But I got up and decided to get ready (my family was sound asleep as I tip toed around trying not to make any noise. I said TRY). Even if it was raining I was pretty excited to wear my costume for this race! The movie Jaws is one of my all time favorite movies and I used to love the ride at Universal Orlando in honor of the movie. So I knew I had to go as one of Captain Jake's Amity Boat Tour guides! This was a real thing. I swear. The ride was actually located where all the new Harry Potter section is now at Universal. Don't worry I kept the memory alive with this costume. I was dressed and ready! To run. In the rain. Every step of the way.

After a ride on the MARTA, the weather didn't look THAT bad. I decided it would probably be best if I bought a poncho just in case. I was lucky and saw a Publix but of course everyone had the same idea and all the ponchos were sold out. One of the managers told the crowd that he would find us something and was nice enough to bring out clear trash bags for us to wear. He even had his scissors out making us ponchos from these trash bags, it was so considerate and he even called himself "poncho man". THANK YOU PONCHO MAN! I met up with my friend (who was super jealous of my trash bag fashion) and made our way to the waves.


Wave P ready for action

The first few waves had already been released and we were making our way towards the front. The rain was pretty heavy at this point but I just kept thinking it's only 6 miles. You can do this in an hour. You can do anything for an hour. Then we saw a huge lightning strike. The DJ stopped the music and made the announcement that the race would have to be delayed for 30 minutes. At this point, I was kind of looking over at my friend like do we really want to do this? I didn't want to do the race at this point but we had already come to Atlanta and I would feel bad later that I hadn't completed the race. We hung out in the Publix (my friend also decided to get in on the trash bag trend) to stay dry and wait for the time to pass. I saw these cupcakes and knew if we finished then we have to come back and get these! Ok, cupcakes were on the line. We could do this!

Incentive for exercise and running. Always.
It was still raining but at least no lightning. We finally made our way back to Wave P then before we knew it we were off! I don't care for rain and I definitely do not like running in it. I realized after the first mile I had literally complained for the last 10 minutes about this. I hate negativity and complaining so I knew I could either keep doing what I was doing (and drive my friend crazy) or suck it up, try to have a good time and finish the race. It's amazing how fast the time goes when you are re-telling old stories, favorite memories or just catching up with a friend you don't get to see that much since you aren't in college anymore. The miles flew by. 

A huge thanks to all the crowd support! It was amazing, I didn't think there would be much with the weather but I was wrong. Pixie Sticks. Gummi Bears. Beer. Hamburgers. Popsicle's. You name it and someone on the course route had it! People in costumes, live music, cheering, all of it made for a great race day atmosphere.  Pretty soon we were at mile 6 and then before we knew it the finish line! We made our way to the park area to pick up our famed finisher t-shirts (participants don't see the shirt till the finish line), it was a cute tee, I have so many race shirts though that I actually prefer medals. They do offer finisher medals but you have to pay an extra fee and it is sent to you via mail before the race or you can pick it up at the expo. I opted to have it sent to me as well as having my bib mailed to my home (so convenient!), that way I didn't have to deal with the hassle of getting to the expo in time. 

Also, people loved my costume! I didn't think people would get it but they did. The clear trash bag was great for keeping me dry but still allowed for my costume to be seen.
Amity to Base. No Jaws but lots of water. I think we're going to need a bigger boat.

This race was so much fun even if it did rain. every. step. of. the. way. But these are outdoor events, you can't control mother nature. Always look at the forecast and if it says it may rain, plan ahead and still have a great race day. If you think there may be rain, buy one of those $3 ponchos at Walgreens or wherever and pack it in your suitcase! After the race, I had a cupcake. Or two. And cookie cake. I was celebrating America and running the "World's Largest 10k", it just felt like the right thing to do. If you want to join me at next year's race get all the details right here!

And just because you have been thinking about it since the first paragraph, here is that Hilary Duff song about the rain falling and coming clean. You're welcome that I brought this song back to your memory.

Happy Running!



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