[Race Report] The AJC Peachtree Road Race 2014


- Mark Lamb

60,000 friends isn't even a reality on Facebook. But the Peachtree Road Race has become a yearly tradition. This is my third year running it in a row- and I've gotten slower every year, but the joy of running with 60,000 friends moving in the same direction for the same goal feels a little bit sacred. 

But this is my third year, and the honeymoon is over. I'm married to the Peachtree, and I'm committed to the yearly tradition, but I'm starting to see her flaws. 

So I'll treat you as my marriage counselor for the next few minutes to help soothe my marriage with the Peachtree Road Race. 

1. Bathroom Etiquette

Ok Peachtree, you have 60,000 friends running your race and you know runners are gross. You can have the most together mom in the world, but I know she isn't washing her hands in the portable toilet. Maybe we ask every single business along the course to open their bathrooms to runners. Maybe instead of spraying us with water, City of Atlanta, you spray us with Lysol? Or maybe random man that thinks it's funny to hand out doughnuts-- give me hand sanitizer. Peachtree- I just need better bathroom etiquette. 

2. Pity Bibs

I've always had a red bib. Makes me proud. I'm not an elite runner, but red means I'm close enough to the start that I can see the start line when the race starts. But what about Y? We all pity Y already. Either they are slow, new to running and slow, or they are terrible procrastinators getting into the race. But Peachtree, I'm already sad they are in Y. But you like to point out the awkward kid by making their bib an American flag. So Peachtree, let these people suffer without adding a kick me sign on their stomach. 

3. Meb Embarrassed Everyone Normal Person

We all know Meb is fast. He won the Boston. But knowing Meb passed 22,000 people is sad. Atlanta, we like to think of ourself as a runners town, yet Meb can pass that many people in just a few minutes. If anything, I would like to see Meb pass that many people in a car on 285 at rush hour. That would be impressive and not make us all feel inferior. 

4. Raiding the Pantry

Maybe we snack at the start line. Because the finish line is full of runners acting like it's about to snow in the south. Grown men taking 7 bananas and 10 peaches... Mothers of two taking enough grocery items to last until school starts back. And I want to warn the kid with 12 ice cream bars he is going to throw up. Peachtree, I'm all in favor of sharing- but post workout gluttony is ironic. 

But more than anything Peachtree- I love you. I'm with you and for you. I tell my friends to marry you as well. You are the most fabulous running event I ever do. Thank you Peachtree. 

Mark is a creative, an instigator, and humorist living in Athens, GA. He has served with Connect Ministries as the leader of the WinShape Camps Experience Team for sometime. He is a reluctant runner-- only running with others because he always quits and sides with snacks when fronted with running alone. Mark likes to call himself a "marathoner" since he completed one.  Follow Mark on twitter @marktlamb