The 2010 Peachtree Roadrace

For those of you who are not from Georgia, let me tell you about a little thing we have here called The Peachtree Road Race. It is an Atlanta institution. The race takes place every year on the Fourth of July and has been going on since the 1970's. It is the world's largest 10k, with 55,000 participants running through downtown Atlanta. It's a huge event. The race has both professional runners and amateurs. Many people do the race every year as a tradition. Some do it in costumes. It's a very fun thing to watch.

But this year, we did not just watch...we participated! (Please note that I am using the term "we" here very loosely. I did not run anywhere, except to catch MARTA to take me from the starting line to the finish line.)

David has wanted to run the Peachtree since hearing about it in college and this year he registered and was accepted. He does a lot of races but he was really excited about this one. I'm telling you people, it's more than a race! It's an event! A tradition! An Institution!

So July 3rd, we hightail it up to Hotlanta. We went to the Health and Fitness Expo, that is held in conjunction with the race, to pick up his race packet and number, to get some swag, and to see if we could find Ryan Hall (a famous runner that David would really like to meet). Ryan was not there, but on the upside we did get free chips and salsa.

David's cousin Harold and his wife Sonia graciously let us spend the night before the race at their house. Thanks guys! We went with their family to a Fourth of July picnic, which was so much fun. We watched great fireworks, drank cokes, ate cotton candy and popcorn...all racing fuel...

The next morning we got up so EARLY. It was 4 something. I don't remember, nor do I want to. We had to ride MARTA (the public transit, kind of like a subway) into the city, because if we drove our car, there would really have been no where to park. Everyone on MARTA was in running gear. It was actually a funny feeling- we were all going to the same place to do the same thing.

We got to the starting line in plenty of time. David did a warm up run. I looked for an open Starbucks. No luck. Please note that it was dark out side. Thank you.

The race is very aptly patriotic, as it is on Independence Day. This huge flag hung over the starting line. As the sun was coming up, someone sang the National Anthem and a plane flew over us just as it ended. I'm a sucker for all things patriotic, and this nearly did me in. But I was too sleepy to be done in.

There were 28 corals of runners, organized by their projected finish time (how fast they are). David was in the third coral, right behind the professionals...because he is awesome. Nuff said.

As soon as the race started and I knew David had gone by (even though I couldn't see him- you can't imagine how many people there are running and watching!), I ran to get back on MARTA so that I could get to the finish line. I was petrified that I was going to get on the wrong train and get lost.

As I was about to have a breakdown and just give up, an old woman, with what was clearly her granddaughter, said "You look like you know where you're going, so I'm just going to follow you." Yikes. I decided I had to be brave for all of us. I looked at the map, picked a train, and led us to the finish line! A small victory.

Once we got off the train, I actually had to walk a really long way to get to the finish. Along the way I would stop to watch the runners and look for Starbucks. I know pretty much how long Dave takes to run a race, so I know where and when to look for him. With so many people running, however, I really had no hope of actually seeing him. But then, as I'm watching clouds of runners zooming by, I spot my man, I yell at him, and snap this pic.

I love how surprised he looks to see me. Hilarious.

Here's the finish line and meeting area where spectators can find their runners. It is a very stinky place due to the 55,000 smelly runners looking for their families.
Jonathan David Dark
Peachtree Road Race 2010
Time: 49:50

Blue Bell gives out free ice cream near the finish line, which made David very happy. This man loves ice cream. Loves it. Especially Blue Bell ice cream. It is the best...accept no substitutes.

Shortly after this I found a Starbucks and we went home. We had so much fun at the Peachtree Road Race and David really wants to do it again next year. You'll all have to come spectate with me...I know where the nearest Starbucks is now, so we're all good. Fourth of July's a date!


  1. Melissa, That is awesome! I ran the Peachtree a couple of times when I lived in Hotlanta...I remember the MARTA didn't smell quite as pleasant on the way home after the race. The race was hot and fun. Ask David how he liked Cardiac Hill near Piedmont Hospital. Texas has lots of Blue Bell...Maybe you all should come visit us! I just saw a good airfare on Airfare Watchdog....Oh..and Carson LOVED Alpine!!!

  2. I'm not sure exactly what it means to "follow you" but I'm now officially you're second follower:) pretty excited about that. loved this post, sounds like fun! love you! marh

  3. Mary it's so good to hear from you! We would LOVE to come see you guys and eat lots of icecream...maybe we can make that happen sometime soon. David said that Cardiac Hill is very appropriately named!! I'm so glad that Carson loved Alpine! His counselor, Zach, is really great. Miss you lots!


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