On the 4th of July this year, I had the opportunity to go to Atlanta to run the Peachtree Road Race, which is the world’s largest 10K race! Because of the large number of interested runners, the race uses a lottery to register runners and I was lucky enough to win a spot. This year there were about 58,000 runners. This wasn’t my first 10K but it was my first time in Atlanta and running in a city I wasn’t familiar with before. It was a great experience. Atlanta may be known for peaches and the Braves, but the Peachtree Road Race is their true pride and joy. So, this calls for a list of awesome about the race.
The organization of this race is the best you’ll find. From roped off race waves to the specific start times and the ease of picking up your coveted race shirt afterwards, the race is run by professionals who know how to make sure the huge group of runners have a fun and safe race. Kudos.
I also loved the route because of everything there was to see. The majority of the race was on Peachtree Road, which is filled with businesses and landmarks such as the High Museum of Art. It was a fun way to see Atlanta and the different neighborhoods.
If you’ve ever participated in a race as a runner or a spectator, you know the positive environment is sure to put a smile on your face. The Atlanta community was out in full force for the race, from businesses to residents to church communities. For a runner, it means a lot when you have people cheering you on and it was meaningful to see many doing that on a holiday morning.
I may have noticed this because I’m in the marketing industry, but the businesses set up along the race route are brilliant. McDonald’s handed out samples of their new coffee drink, Moe’s Southwest Grill (the original location!) threw swag from a fire engine ladder, Chic-Fil-A and its mascot cow showered runners with confetti and Bank of America had a huge, enthusiastic cheering group dressed in red. Businesses showed up and showed they support their community and the accomplishments of the runners. That’s brand loyalty building right there.
Spectators with creative signs are always welcome. They are sure to put a smile on a runner’s face, which helps increase serotonin and positivity. Here are a few of my favorite signs and sights along the race:
- “You’ve trained for this longer than Kim K’s marriage!”
- “Do it for America! Do it for Andy Griffith!” (Andy Griffith died the day before on July 3, 2012.)
- Priests outside a Catholic church throwing holy water from a bowl onto runners. The church also had a fire hydrant labeled holy water spewing onto runners.
- “Keep going! (That’s what she said!)”
So, a great memory made and number two of my five race goal for the year!
What’s a favorite race you’ve run? Have you seen any funny signs at your race?