As we continue to march forward to the Peachtree I thought it might be helpful to re-post a series of entries I did a few years ago about my experiences with the Peachtree. I hope you enjoy.
When it’s your time to start, your first mile and how it looks might depend on where you are in your corral. Are you in the front of the pack? Are you in the middle or back of the pack? For the most part, once you take off, they do a pretty good job at the start of giving you room to run. Don’t get me wrong, it is crowded but all things considered you do have space to run. If you take off quick you will soon catch runners or walkers in the group that started before you.
As you take off, you will be cheered on by over 100,000 fans along the 6.2 mile course. It really makes a difference so enjoy it. Take advantage of this first mile. I would guess for most of us it might be one of our fastest of the day. The screaming fans and pretty flat start to the course will help with that. Mind the curb in the middle of the road but you probably won’t miss the signs warning you.
Shortly after you start, you will run on a bridge taking you across GA 400. There is a slight incline shortly after you start, but you might not even notice. With the excitement and being surrounded by the other runners, you will probably just run past it. Never mind the runners waiting on the side of the road who did not make it to the corral or who choose not to run the whole 6.2 miles. I will never understand! But I will stay off that soap box today.
You will enjoy this first mile with more fans packed in here than you will see until you get closer to the finish. You pass restaurants, coffee shops and many other shopping areas.
Hopefully, about a half mile into this, you will find a nice steady pace. A 10k is not a 5k so if you spend it all early you can’t get it later. And trust me, with what is to come you will need it later. I always find this to be a captivating course. The first three miles are laid out in a way that if you are going to make it happen that is the part of the course to do it. But with the hills to come you still need to save some. My approach is cautiously aggressive. I run the first three miles hard but keep some in the tank.
My most vivid memory of this mile was the year I had to walk with back problems. Both my Dad and I were injured that year going into that race but were determined to give it a try. Once we got to the start line, we decided to at least run for a few minutes. I think we ran about 100 yards and had to both stop. We looked at each other and knew this was going to be a long flippin’ day.
Mile #1 is as exciting as it gets. You have been held up in these corrals for a long time so when they finally cut you loose, you are like a wild animal and you are just about to bust. Hard to control that pace out of the gate.
But you are only looking for one thing right now. Mile Marker #1. You will find it just past E Shadowlawn Avenue.
You just ran one mile in your Peachtree Road Race.
To be continued…