On the way south for Spring Break, the kids & I stopped off in Atlanta, GA for the Publix Georgia Marathon on March 19, 2017.
This was my 40th marathon & my 23rd state. I haven’t been to Atlanta for a long time so was excited to go back. A few new additions to Atlanta include a huge Ferris Wheel beside Centennial Olympic Park (pic below) and the College Football Hall of Fame that used to be in South Bend, Indiana. Noticeably missing was the old vibe from the Underground shopping area that is in the process of changing owners. I was sad to see it so empty and hope that its revitalized by my next trip to Atlanta! I loved the Underground!
Photo Credit: Laura Snead
The expo was small but hopping. Music. Giveaways. Fun atmosphere. Local businesses. We were in and out in a short amount of time & I even bought a shirt, which is unusual.
We spent Saturday walking around town, riding the Ferris Wheel & just clowning around.
Sunday was race day and the city came alive. A quick meet up pre-race with one of the awesome ladies from the Best TRI Club Ever. Laura S, Me & Julie M. Yes, I had to stand in the middle because I’m a giant.
Once the crowds rolled in on marathon day, Atlanta hosted 1463 marathon runners & 5227 half marathon runners. Race day was charged. It was a bit chilly at the start. Dark. But everyone was excited and ready to run. We had heard the race was hilly but had no idea what to expect. As Midwestern runners, we don’t have a lot of hills so honestly, a ramp or slight incline is a hill for me! But we soon found the hills. And lots of beautiful neighborhoods. Plus we caught a great view of the city as the sun was coming up.
This race really made me fall in love with the various Atlanta neighborhoods. They shut down a lot of their town to let us run their streets on a Sunday morning. The amount of volunteer & police support was off the charts. I’d like to send a shout out to all the WOMEN on the Atlanta PD who were working the marathon route. I’ve never seen that many women officers and I LOVED it.
But the theme of the day was definitely hills. Small ones. Long ones. Steep ones. Long, slow graded hills. Rolling hills. And then more and more hills. We walked quite a few hills but tried to just keep moving. The hills didn’t stop but neither did we!
Both Julie & I were thinking this was the hilliest marathon we had ever ran. It inspired me to go back over my garmin data for previous races. We were wrong, this was NOT the hilliest road race we had ever ran. That award goes to the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS with 1,319 feet of elevation gain. Atlanta (the Georgia Marathon) ranked #2 at 1,265 feet of elevation gain. #3 is Flying Pig in Cincinnati, OH with 1,020 feet of elevation gain, just cuz I knew you’d want to know. And of course, this only pertains to road races that we have ran to date.
But even with the hills, the entire race was just fun. Great atmosphere. Lots of crowd support. Plenty of aid stations with both fluids & food. Candy. Pretzels. Oranges. Happy volunteers. Plus we ran thru 3 colleges which is always great. Anges Scott College for Women (first photo below), Emory University (second photo below) & Georgia Tech.
The finish line finally came into sight & we not only received a medal but a cool, thin jacket! We got to pick our color & size. I think they had red, black & aqua jackets. Nice perk! Race shirt was a pale green, unisex, long sleeve tech tee, which I like. It doesn’t fit me great but I do like the color and style!
Loved the Georgia Marathon! Great town, great crowds & so many beautiful neighborhoods.
** Run Atlanta ** Amanda – TooTallFritz