Saturday, November 27, 2010

Atlanta Thanksgiving Half...

Can you call something that you have done three years in a row a "tradition"? If so, I suppose the Atlanta Half Marathon has become a tradition for me. This year, the course went from a point to point to a loop course so there was much anticipation and excitement over the changes at hand. In addition to the route change, this was the first year that there was not a full marathon to accompany the half. One of the big announcements this week was the date of the Atlanta Marathon. The race will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2011. (Side note, if you register before 12/31/10, the registration fee is $55 which is pretty cheap for a full marathon).

The past two years, I have volunteered at the race in addition to running. It can be a little challenging working out the logisitics of working right up until your corral passes over the start line but I highly recommend it! Last year I worked at the expo handing out race numbers and then race day at baggage check. Both were very fun jobs, you truly feel the excitement of the race! This year, I worked in Corral 4. You know, one of the people who try to make sure that only legit people get in the corral. As anyone who has run more than a few larger races know, the corrals do serve a purpose which is mainly to keep the race from being so congested once it starts. I am a pretty calm, follow the rules kind of person by nature. Apparently everyone is not that way. I was suprised how many people gave the volunteers a hard time for not letting them in a corral that they weren't supposed to be in. Given the chip timing, what difference does it really make?

Volunteer Pics

Me and my Dad (he and his wife Rita volunteered for finish line duties)

Once the first few corrals were sent on their way, my volunteer duties were over so I stuffed my volunteer fleece in my backpack and got ready to run. Normally, I wouldn't run with a backpack but couldn't figure out any other way outside of running with the vest on and it was a little too warm for fleece. The bag was a little annoying in the beginning but quickly got used to it. I have lived in Atlanta all of my life but really have settled into a comfort zone around my house and rarely venture into the downtown area to see some of the sights. For this reason, I was particularly excited for the new route. Some of things we ran by that I never have seen were the Martin Luther King Center and Oakland Cemetary. Oakland is a historic cemetary where Margaret Mitchell and golf legend Bobby Jones among many others are buried. We also ran past a homeless shelter. There were buses lined up to take them to go eat their Thanksgiving Dinner. Kind of a sobering sight.

The track club did an excellent job with water and signage. Each mile was clearly marked, there was plenty of water and gatorade every 2 miles and a sport beans stop around mile 8. The medal at the end was an improvement over previous years. I like for the ribbon to tie into the event instead of just being a plain color so to have the race name on the ribbon was a nice touch. All in all I think the track club did a great job!

My time was not a PR by any means. I wasn't really expecting one and just wanted to enjoy the race. I had been dealing with knee pain so I just slowed it down and soaked it all in. CR and I didn't have any big meal plans so ended up just staying at home and eating pizza. So very untraditional but we enjoyed it :)

Earlier in the week, I was interviewed by a local news station for a story on the race. Check it out here. I am the last one interviewed, not the pregnant lady or the man who lost 85 pounds in case you were wondering.

Today, I stepped back in to training for the Goofy Challenge in January. I had a 23 miler on the schedule and was so pleased that it went well! More on that later when I tell you about my experience with the Galloway method.

Have a great weekend!


Lauren said...

wow a 23 miler? And yeah it's weird how many people want to get in corrals they don't belong in. I always end up in a slower corral... I kinda of like passing people ;)

Jennifer said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and congrats on having a fun race and all the volunteering! The picture of you and your Dad is great! Cheers!

Lindsay said...

i'm kinda sad they aren't having the marathon the same day anymore. and they moved it to the same weekend as the local half/full up here in greenville (sc). but i can see why they moved it, still a bummer!

anyway, congrats on your race! you didn't even take advantage of all the burned cals! that was the best part about running the atlanta full, haha.

next year, wear the turkey hat :)

Amanda said...

Congrats on another half marathon finish.

Just did my first 23 miler for Goofy training on Saturday...It was an experience for sure :)! Can't wait to hear about yours.

Jill said...

I was thinking of you... I have done the ING Atlanta half the past three years (tradition :)), it's March date always worked well with an April marathon. Anyway, I noticed that is is no longer the ING marathon...and is now Publix Marathon...which is just weird. Hate it when they lose sponsers like that. Anyway not sure I will do it but if I do I will be sure to give you a shout and maybe we can meet up.

Good job on the half - and love the pics of you, so very cute :).

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Fun tradition and fun video! Hope your knee feels better soon!

RunToTheFinish said...

wow that's a great race shirt, makes me want to do the that odd? :)

wohoo for being in the paper and goofy training too!

smartwool socks said...

that shirts rock!!!

Congrats on the race!!!!