2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race, Sunday July 4th (Carson Matthews)June 23, 2010
Submitted by Carson Matthews. Extracted from The Buckhead Blog
Every 4th of July, Peachtree Road goes from being the busiest traffic street in Atlanta to main stage for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. From Brookhaven to Buckhead to Downtown Atlanta fans will line up to cheer on their favorite racer, mom, dad, sister brother as they tackle the 6.2 mile run. This is the largest running event in the US with 55,000 participants and will be watched by over 150,000 spectators lining Peachtree Road.
As the runners are getting started, I usually take the boys to grab a quick breakfast and then head down to our favorite spot at the corner of Peachtree Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue. It’s a nice shady spot where there is plenty of room to watch the race and let the kids run around.
The first year we went to watch Mom run, our son was probably 3 years old and I guess we didn’t do a very good job of preparing him for what would happen when Mommy ran by. Well he got really upset when she didn’t stop for more than a hug and even more so that he couldn’t run with her. That moment a girl dressed as a fairy stepped in and saved the day. It was literally a magic moment where she took away his sadness and made him so happy that he had just seen his mom running to win the race. And that was it; if Mommy was going to try and win the race she couldn’t carry him along with her. So we jumped in the car and headed to the finish line to see if she got a medal. Well, not exactly… This is the other trick to the Peachtree is finding a spot to pick up your runner. The race ends in Piedmont Park and if you live on the west side of Peachtree Road, it’s a little tricky to get over there with children in tow. My advice is to jump on Google Maps and find a meeting spot, as long as they don’t mind running or walking a little more after the race is over. Another idea is taking Marta. Whether you live north, south, east or west of Peachtree, Marta will get you there. If you leave your car near the start line, you can take Marta back to either the Brookhaven or Lenox stations which will leave you with only a quick walk back to the start area.
After the race we head home and get ready for the 4th of July Parade and Funfest in Chastain Park. This is the 3rd annual Parade and something the kids love being a part of. You can read more about that at the ChastainParkBlog.com.
Here are some important times to know that I picked up in the Peachtree Road Race Magazine:
5:30 am MARTA begins carrying runners to the starting area 6:30 am Runners begin assembling into start groups 6:45 am Start of the Shepherd Center Wheelchair Division 7:04 am First Wheelchair athlete finishes at Piedmont Park 7:30 am Start of the AJC Peachtree Road Race 7:57 am First runner crosses the finish line (The fastest finish time ever was 27:04 in 1996 by Joseph Kimani) 8:30 am Yacht Rock Revue performs on the awards stage 9:05 am Last runner crosses the start line in Buckhead to begin the race 9:30 am Awards ceremony for the race winners begins
You can learn more about the race at http://www.atlantatrackclub.org/