By: Trey Brush
When it comes to the Peachtree Road Race, a part that makes it unique is that there are so many variables and things you have to think about that you normally don’t have to when it comes to a normal 10k race. The Peachtree Road Race is one of those few races that goes by one name. If you live in Atlanta or are familiar with the race at all, the question you get is something like this…”Are you running the Peachtree this year?”
One of the things you need to think about before race day is, getting to the start. As you can imagine, with 60,000 runners along with the families and spectators winging it the morning of is not a good idea. How to get to the start and back from the finish is always something we have to plan for.
When it comes to transportation and the Peachtree, I will date myself just a bit with this, but my first Peachtree was back in the 80’s and there were about 25,000 runners that year. I ran that race with my dad that year and we took the Marta train after the race. On our train after the race I think we saw one poor soul who was not a runner. We felt very bad for him and what he had to endure during his ride that day.
One thing to think about with the Peachtree is the option of staying in a hotel.
You have a few different options when it comes to location. The first option is close to the start line. There are plenty of hotels to choose from close to Lenox in Buckhead that will give you the option of doing something I have never done on July 4th….sleep later! That would be a good reason alone to stay closer to the start line. The second option on hotels is close to the finish. The big benefit of being close to the finish is not having to deal with the massive number of runners trying to get on the train after the race. It could be a good option being a short walk to your hotel after the race. The final option is helpful if you are not local and looking for a better hotel deal. You could always stay somewhere else in Atlanta and use transportation to get to the start line.
From my past race experiences in Atlanta and other races, If I was looking at all of those options I would probably not get excited about the last option. Being close to the start or finish just takes one more thing off of your mind on race day. That is a good thing.
If staying in a hotel is not an option, the next thing to plan is getting to the start line on race day. Starting at about 5:30am on race day you will begin to see a steady stream of runners coming out of the Marta station at Lenox and it just gives heavier and heavier by the minute.
Getting to the start line is critical and your timing is important because of street closures and the size of the race. You certainly can get creative with working out a parking situation but I would not plan on that. The vast majority of runners rely on Marta to get to the start and back. While you may have to wait for a train, the ease of using Marta takes a lot of stress off of you both before and after the race.
What I can tell you is to plan well. Don’t wait until July 3rd. You have trained and prepared for weeks for this Atlanta tradition, don’t leave anything up to chance.
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