3 weeks from today I’m leaving on a jetplane to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. I think my previous posts have made it clear that this has been a difficult training cycle but overall I’m feeling strong and excited for race day. In general, I’m just ready to go and be done with training lol. Our last long run of 22 miles is tomorrow and it’s still going to be 90 degrees even though it’s October! Atlanta either missed the message that it’s fall or it’s just drunk AF. Either way, I’m ready.to.be.done.
Luckily after tomorrow, the next 2 weeks of training line up nicely with 2 awesome events. First up will be The Race inaugural half marathon presented by the Unity Collective. The Unity Collective is “a collaboration of running community leaders, vendors, and supporters united to host a road race that supports black owned businesses, runs through historically black neighborhoods, makes a positive impact with charity and service, and garners massive national support from the African-American running community.” This is an event that the Atlanta running community has been buzzing about for a long time and it’s being organized by some of the most incredible running organizers in the city. My running blog friend, Elizabeth, is also coming from Portland and staying with us for the weekend to be a pacer for the event, woohoo!
My last effort before Marine Corps will be the Atlanta Track Club PNC Atlanta 10 Miler! The 10 miler is a tough, hilly course in typical Atlanta fashion, but it’s always a huge crowd pleaser. I’m always surprised each year (after telling myself I’m gonna have fun and go out easy) that I set a course PR. It’s become a bit of an unsustainable trend but I’m always a glutton for punishment. Considering I’ll be in taper mode and will have Marine Corps a week later I should commit myself to easy pace but not guarantees I’ll tame the beast lol. The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler really is the “Perfect 10” so here are my 10 favorites from the race:
- Weather: running in October in Atlanta is usually pretty awesome (even if this year is proving challenging)
- Discounts: the 10 miler starts and finishes at Atlantic Station, home to tons of awesome shops and restaurants. Many of these vendors have partnered with the race to offer discounts on food and shopping. I’m definitely excited about 10% off post-race ice cream at Kilwin’s!
- Cheer Zones: Atlanta Track Club does a great job recruiting local schools and organizations to set up cheer zones along the course. Coupled with the groups manning the aid stations, the course has great support. My favorite cheer zone every year is the Atlanta Roller Girls; they go all out on their costumes for sure!
- Cardiac (Down)Hill Challenge: We all know the infamous Cardiac Hill from Peachtree Road Race. The 10 miler course also runs Cardiac Hill but last year they changed it up; it runs DOWNHILL! There’s a king and queen of the downhill challenge with awesome prizes for the top 50 men and top 50 women.
- Access: there’s a shuttle from the closest MARTA station (or you can walk the mile) or parking is in abundance in the cavernous underground deck. Free parking race morning as well.
- It’s part of the Triple Peach: The Triple Peach is a great challenge that involves running Peachtree Road Race on July 4, the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler in October, and the Atlanta Half on Thanksgiving. Runners who complete the challenge get extra swag included special medal, shirt, and a mini pie at the end of the half marathon.
- It’s part of Atlanta Track Club Grand Prix: there’s approximately 10 events per year towards Grand Prix points and possible prizes. There’s also a special prize for people who do all Grand Prix events in a calendar year.
- Hills! I know, I know; people love to moan and grown about hills. However, if you live and run in Atlanta, why waste precious resources? The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler course is great preparation for other fall races, including the Atlanta Half on Thanksgiving. So don’t knock it before you try it. You’ll feel awesome when you finish, promise!
- Running on Peachtree: the course doesn’t spend a ton of time on the iconic road but any time you get to run in the middle of Atlanta’s most famous road is a treat.
- 5k: For your friends and family who want to hang but not interested/ready in the longer/hillier course, there’s always the awesome 5k option.