Jenn and I ran in the annual Peachtree Road Race 10K yesterday with 54,998 other people, all of whom wanted to park in the same parking lot as we did. It was a great deal of fun, plus almost perfectly in line with our marathon training for later this year.
Jenn finished with a time of approximately 1:09:10 and Bill came in at 1:09:33. Actual clock times were 1:48:10 and 1:48:33, respectively, which tells you how long it took for us to cross the start line after the initial gun. Our race numbers were 60932 and 60933, but those are not consecutive numbers; it placed us in the sixth starting group, about 2/3 of the way from the front.
Another clock at the finish, next to the official time clock, is the T-Shirt clock, which shows whether or not you’ve qualified for the coveted Peachtree T-Shirt. In order to be deserving of the shirt, you have to cross the finish within the 75 minutes allowable by the T-Shirt clock which does not start until the last runner crosses the start line.
Our T-Shirt clock time was 30:30. So, if you do the math, you can see that the entire length of the race, all 10 kilometers of Peachtree and 10th Streets, was full of people for at least 10 minutes of this race. That’s a lot of people. I envied the helicopter pilots with their birds-eye view of the throng.
Speaking of helicopters, it’s amusing to climb off of the MARTA shuttle bus at the Buckhead/Lenox exit at SR 400 (all interior roads were closed due to the race) to the sound of five news choppers whop-whop-whopping their way over the startline of the race. They looked like a bunch of big mosquitos, just hanging out. Either that, or the harbinger of some Hollywood movie-esque disaster thriller, with hovering news choppers to bring it to the world.
Last, but certainly not least, in this story (or first, depending on how you look at it) was the trip in to the race. MARTA provided excellent service to the start line, with trains and buses running to get people there on time. Unfortunately, we underestimated the earliness-factor that we would need in order to get to our nearest MARTA station to aquire parking. I can now attest that the FULL LOT sign at the entrance to the Sandy Springs MARTA parking lot isn’t exactly fool proof, as at least 60 or 70 vehicles were allowed in that did not have parking spaces.
Suffice to say, we got there on time, after parking in a commercial lot next to the MARTA station, right next to a sign that says “NO MARTA PARKING.” Alas.