With an estimated 60,000 entrants, the Peachtree Road Race is the world’s largest 10k. This year’s race was full of some new twists thanks to Mother Nature. Full disclosure here, I watched the 2015 Peachtree Road Race from bed. My daughter won’t be little much longer and when she asked me to go to our local parade with her, I could not say No. If I run the race, I can’t make it home in time for the parade. I had signed up thanks to the race transfer policy, I was able to legally transfer my bib. When I found someone who wanted to run in my place, gave them the official transfer form and photo copy of my ID to take to the expo as per official race transfer process. Thanks Peachtree Road Race for this option! Sadly, with the weather, my daughter and husband did not want to go watch the parade, so we watched the race instead on TV via 11alive.
Turned on the TV around 8:30 and learned that there was a rain delay due to lightning within an 8 mile radius of the race that would last until 8:55am. This affected runners in start waves M and up as M was ready to go when the call was made and were told to hold back. You can see the estimated start time of the start waves . A through L had started already and some 20,000+ runners were affected by delay in the start of the race.
11Alive’s reporting crew left post at the start of the race due to the weather and to seek shelter. Runners staged in start waves M and above were advised to take cover and directed to parking decks. If you were following along on Facebook or Twitter, the organizers did a good job of keeping the runners informed in my opinion, though there were some complaints as well you can’t make everyone happy.
This was the first time in the race’s 46 year history that it was interrupted or delayed due to weather. I followed along on TV with our local 11Alive coverage who reported mainly from mile 4 mostly talking to runners who passed by. Want a selfie with the reporters next year, on your left at the bridge that passes over the interstate mile 4ish. They were alternating between the finish line and mile 4 pretty much during the delay and happily taking photos with participants.
Those who were delayed at the start were reported to have taken shelter in adjacent malls and parking decks near the course and were asked to stay with their start wave. It was also reported with 20,000 plus people put on hold, there were not many places to go and people were cold and many were complaining. My friends who were delayed told me it was hard to hear what was being announced. Race organizers the Atlanta Track Club put a Facebook and Twitter messages around 9am for all runners to return to start waves they were getting ready to go then this update at 9:06am:
It was great to see that the race continued and runners WERE smiling on TV. I have since heard everything from the race was miserable due to the weather to it was the best race ever. I think in conditions like this, the mind is a very powerful in one’s perception. FYI, start wave M started to The Weather Girls “Its Raining Men”.
Interestingly enough a winner of the race had not been announced, normally by 8:30am you know because they start first and well they are fast. Along with the first rain delay, it was the first ever photo finish. Apparently the front runner got a little TOO sure of himself and was overtaken at the last minute and beaten by .09 seconds! Check out this report from Pittsburgh’s 11 news:
Meanwhile back at the start, the last group of runners started their 6.2 mile journey at 9:51am.
No doubt, this year’s shirt will bring back some memories for those who crossed the finish line – you have to finish to get the coveted shirt. Another first, first red shirt in race history and what a GREAT design! They do a GREAT job of keeping the design top secret every year too.
I learned a huge lesson race day, even sitting at home: with ANY race, its important to know the Event Alert System for any race to play it safe and be prepared.
Kudos to the Atlanta Track Club who every year puts on a GREAT race and this year stepped up with crazy weather conditions. With runners from all 50 stays and all over the world, the Peachtree is an event for athletes of all levels. The fan support on the course cannot be beat and the volunteers are truly the best, many making this an annual tradition with their families. Whether you run or walk, or do intervals, you will enjoy the vibe of this event.
Registration for the 2016 Peachtree Road Race is via a lottery which typically opens around St Patrick’s day. Members of the Atlanta Track Club are guaranteed entry to the Peachtree Road Race. Follow the Atlanta Track Club on Facebook and Twitter for updates on this Atlanta July Fourth tradition.
So the question for me for 2016, Parade or Race? Will you be going back to the Peachtree in 2016?
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