Running with 60,000 of your Closest Friends

 

By: Trey Brush

That sums up the Peachtree Road Race in just one phrase. The Peachtree is one of the most unique experiences in sports. How many sporting events see the world’s best professionals on the same field with an average runner trying to complete their first 10K? The Peachtree is one of those things that is just Atlanta. There is one thing about the Peachtree that is important going into the race…your approach to the Peachtree will directly impact your view of the Peachtree.

Here is the deal. If you look at the Peachtree as the race you have circled on the calendar as your race to set your PR, you might be let down. Even if you find yourself close to the front and have room to run, with that many people on that size of a course, it is just not the ideal course for a PR. However, it is not to say it can’t happen, but I do think you have to make sure you have reasonable expectations.

As we approach the Peachtree Road Race 2014, I thought I would share some things I have learned about the Peachtree that create the most memorable experience for years to come. What are the things that keep me coming back? Why do I love the Peachtree?

 

  •  From the moment you arrive at Lenox Mall, soak in the atmosphere. There will be 60,000 runners and thousands of volunteers so enjoy the electric atmosphere. There is not another race quite like it.
  • As the race begins, take a look around you. Look in front of you and behind you and just admire the sea of runners that surround you. Watch the runners begin in front of you and enjoy watching the heads and bodies going up and down as they begin their first strides. It is quite a site to see.
  • Look at all the runners with numbers that line the sides of the streets after you pass the start line! I never understand that.
  • Enjoy those first 3 miles, the 2nd half of the race will feel much different.
  • Get splashed by the holy water on the right hand side of the course at the Cathedral of St. Philip.
  • Take in the huge crowds as you run through Buckhead.
  • Charge up “Cardiac Hill” (Maybe not, but tackle it). 
  • Enjoy bouncing across I-85 on the bridge. That is a crazy feeling.
  • Look around and smile. Take in the moments of running the Peachtree. Don’t look straight down or straight in front of you. Make it a point to look around you.
  • Look at how crazy people get trying to get a free t-shirt along the course.
  • As you approach the Woodruff Arts Center make it a race. You have about a mile to go and it is time to press on. Enjoy the spectators and the unique environment the rest of the race.
  • Don’t stop at the picture location which looks like a finish line. Not quite there!
  • I love that downhill finish.
  • Wearing that shirt with pride.
  • It is a true Atlanta original. Probably more than any other thing is that the race is about family to us. It is a tradition in our family that we just don’t miss.

 

What did I miss from the experience? I would love to hear what you love about the Peachtree Road Race in the comments below.


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Trey is a runner and coach with a desire to help create change in others.  He lost 80 pounds on his journey from a watcher in life to a doer.  His passion for running and creating change led him from the couch to marathons and ultramarathons.  He is a husband and the father of 2 boys living in Jefferson GA.  You can follow Trey on twitter @RunOnPurpose