2012 Peachtree Road Race: The Good Foot, The Bad, The Ugly

I am happy to announce that I have recently finished my 8th Peachtree Road Race. At this rate, I’m on track to challenge my father’s 26-race run, and have only missed 8 consecutive races by one year. (Thanks, night job in Augusta.)

I’m usually pretty good about a pre-Peachtree Road Race blog post. This year, sadly, I have failed. Moreover, I’ve failed as a blogger in 2012. Though, I beat my sister who started a new-baby blog and has only made one post this year. So….there’s that?

The race this year was good. Certainly not perfect. But good. Being that it’s been more than a week since the event, let’s get straight to the point. My thoughts on the 2012 Peachtree Road Race: The Good Foot, The Bad, The Ugly.

The Good Foot: MarathonFoto finally provided a nice batch of pictures, which beats last year’s one photo. I’m even considering buying one!

The Bad: My time. “oooooWIE. Wassup with that? Wassup with that?” Yeah. It was not a good race for me. I managed to run to the top of Pill Hill, but then became dehydrated and had to stop for water. My legs were jell-o after that. So run-walk I did.

The Ugly: Race organization. And perhaps organization is the wrong word. They definitely do herd 60,000 people around a small space well. But there are a few imperfections that, if changed, would have been huge to me. First, MARTA. Any smart racer knows to DRIVE to midtown, and take MARTA back up to Buckhead. The rides are less smelly from the inverse, and have been historically lighter. Not this year. I would like to suggest having MARTA trains that are used to transport runners only. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the supporters on the sideline, but being super crammed into a train with almost nothing but spectators, and seeing runners waiting on the platform, seemed wrong to me. We could assign – say – every other train for spectators. So one is for runners only, and the next one is for spectators and runners. Because let’s face it, people, who’s the group on the real time crunch here? Also – once we were near the starting line – getting people to their waves was crazy counterintuitive. At one point, router were cut off so that A-J went this way, and K-everyone else went the other way. Of course, I was in K, so I was forced to walk the entire route from Z, onward, to my wave. By the time I got to K, we were AT THAT CUTOFF spot. I walked — at minimum — a very unnecessary mile to get to my wave. Can we not adjust the cutoffs as waves advance? I also noticed some ad hoc efforts to catch those sneaking up into a heat (or 12) ahead of their assignment. Can’t we be more effective than cops standing on the side of the start area and asking people to step off to the side and wait for their wave? Hint, APD: they aren’t going to wait. And you can’t do anything about it. I just don’t want to have to start with 5 S’s and 3 W’s standing around me. If that’s how it works, why have waves?

But, again, I think that the ATC does an OK job overall. 60,000 people is a large group, and running the bulls a race without anyone getting trampled is possibly a miracle.

How was the race for you? Give me your Good, Bad, and Ugly!

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