(or somewhere thereabouts). That is the advertised number. My Dad seems to think that might not be accurate. Potato, Potah-toe. Personally, I like that this is the 40th because it coincides with my age. I am 40, this is the 40th, I don't know why but I can make a connection with it. One of those memory association things, I suppose.
This is the 2nd year that I have run the race with my Dad (his 30th race!). The plan was to meet at his house at 5:15 AM for a 7:36 start. Yeah, it seems early considering we are only about 30 minutes away but this is one of those races where you need to allow plenty of time because the crowds are insane. (insane in number, not necessarily insane as in "mental" although there were a few people I saw that made me wonder...). The start time for the race was 7:36, the last time group was estimated to cross the start line at 8:57ish. WOW. Of course, I have had issue getting up lately and the 4th was no exception. I managed to get in the car at 5:13 and try to shove a half of a peanut butter sandwich down on the way over to Dad's. I probably finished about a quarter of it which wasn't a brilliant plan. No early morning hydration, no food to speak of... A couple of marathons under my belt and have become seemingly complacent with the important pre-race rituals.
I pulled into Dad's driveway around 5:22. He was waiting in the garage. Oops. I knew that my 7 minutes might throw off the plan! We decided he would drive to MARTA and off we went. A short wait for the train, a change of trains at Five Points and we were off at Lenox around 6:45. Not too bad. There were loads of people there already so we made our way to our corral and the port a potties. I was in time group 1B, Dad was in time group 2 which worked out well because we are in the same pre-race staging area. We parted ways at the line for the port a lets and agreed to meet up post race.
By 7:15 I was in line and decided that sandwich wasn't doing much so I downed one of the GU gels I brought along. I turned on my IPOD and took in the sights until the race started. The usual sights, loads of people in red, white and blue. The occasional man painted from head to toe like a flag, an older lady in a super short mini dress made of metallic streamers and a guy running in a poncho and sombrero. That last one just looked painfully hot. The weather could not have been better for the race, it was cool 70ish for the start and like a nice spring day at the finish. Love it.
I crossed the start about a minute or two after the official start and just set it on cruise control. I decided I was just going to finish and not go for any personal bests, just enjoy the race. The course this year ended at Piedmont Park so it was a downhill finish and less hilly overall that last year. I may be a bit jaded because cardiac hill seems like nothing to me after logging so many miles at Stone Mountain. Overall, it was a great race. My time was just under 57 minutes, I got the coveted shirt and another race is in the books!
The only negative this year was a really long walk back to MARTA. It seemed like a mile or more. I am sure it was just the way we were routed so hopefully they can improve that for next year. I wasn't really into working up another sweat after I just finished the race. Call me crazy.
The rest of the weekend. Well, it was just that... lots of rest and I LOVED every minute of it!