Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Atlanta Tradition

As every good Atlantan does, I have some local traditions. Fridays spent at Sweetwater Brewing Company kick any weekend off right. I know to walk, not drive, around the Lenox Mall area at the holidays due to the insane traffic that piles up. Fall mornings mean we are boarding the trains with our yellow and gold on for Game Day. I like to hit up Waffle House the morning after a late night out.

My favorite tradition, however, is the Peachtree Road Race. This race, run every year on the morning of July 4th, is something that my family has been participating in together for years and years. My mom and dad were early instigators, suggesting one year that rather than sleeping in that morning, we should get up with 50,000+ other locals and head down to Lenox Mall for the start line of this famed, world's largest 10K road race. All these years later, and I think this year will be my sixth (seventh?) race!

Since I am not a "real" runner, I usually get randomly seeded for the race, meaning that my start group has changed almost every year. I always say to myself, oh, I should run some local 5K ahead of time and submit my time for a better number next year. But I never do. And you know what? It doesn't really matter :) As long as I am not in the last group (which is filled with almost all walkers), all of the groups in the middle are pretty much the same.

Note: I had some finish-line photos of me from past races I wanted to share here with you all, but they were all the proof versions - none that were good enough to buy ;) So after second thoughts, I decided to take them out of the post since I didn't have the rights to share them. 

Just imagine a shot of me running here. I look dorky and not coordinated :)

The race has covered almost the exact same course through Buckhead into Midtown Atlanta since 1970. It starts now right in front of Lenox Mall, and ends on 10th Street by Charles Allen. It covers 6.2 miles of hilly, windy terrain, going through some of the prettiest parts of Buckhead. At the end lies the coveted Peachtree Road Race t-shirt, the design for which is kept a surprise until the first runners pick up their bags!

Besides running, which is always a challenge but a super fun one at that, my favorite PTRR tradition is the after-party. Our group of family and friends have been holding down the corner where the race turns from Peachtree onto 10th Street for many, many years. As you run past, you are guaranteed a great hollering from those of the group holding down the fan-side, and when you are done, you walk back up to join in the race watching. Since the Peachtree lasts for a few hours (60,000+ people are running it tomorrow!), there is usually at least an hour or two left of people to pass by and watch.

The very, very best part about our tailgate? This:

The bloody mary(s) waiting for me as I walk up to our tailgating group! A bloody mary, in my opinion, is the best post-race drink EVER! In one glass, you get some replenishing nutrients AND a slight "whoa" feeling :)

Are you running the PTRR tomorrow? And out-of-towners, have you ever considered making the trip in for this momentous event? It's a popular destination for the Fourth and I urge you to mark your calendars for the 2013 race!!



Hannah said...

I'll be there... I'll look for you. We'll be running/jogging/walking... This will be my 12th, my friend Robin's fifth, and my dad's 25th!!!

Unknown said...

I'll mark the calendar for next year! Good luck and have fun!

Unknown said...

Hannah - that is so awesome that your family has had the same tradition going, and for so long! Go you all!

Adrienne - definitely! That's awesome!!

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