Today I ran the Inaugural JG 13.1 Race in Atlanta. It is my first race since the Savannah Marathon last month. Here is my experience broken down from the Expo to the finish line.
The Expo was at 200 Peachtree which is not really easy to travel to, especially from Marietta St (no turns at all on Peachtree St). I worked at the expo as an exhibitor for the Hot Chocolate ATL Race so I spent quite a bit of time at the event. I also had a chance to visit a few of the vendors. Overall the expo traffic was light. I am not sure whether it was due to the number of participants or if some people picked up multiple packets (I did).
The race started at 8 am in Midtown Atlanta and the runners were divided into 3 corrals. There were many pacing teams that ranged from 1:45 to 4:30.
The first part of the run was through Midtown, Freedom Parkway, and Virginia Highlands. I unofficially ran with the 2 hr pacing group for the first 7 miles. Since I don't practice interval running, I didn't run with them. It was cool watching them, they were like soldiers. After mile 7 they left me. The route was classic Atlanta running (hilly, hilly, hilly). We did run on the BeltLine, which is flat. I was enjoying the flat route bliss, but once we exited the BeltLine it was back to the regularly scheduled Atlanta hilly terrain.
For the second half of the race, we ran from Virginia Highlands to Piedmont Park via 10th Street, Piedmont Rd, and Monroe. Hills, chills, and thrills. Finally, the finish line appeared all of my efforts were rewarded with an awesome medal and great freebies. I even took a picture with Jeff Galloway.
My official time was 2:08:14. While it was not PR for me, it is better than my best Publix Race time. Overall, I would recommend the race to runners of all levels and may run again next year.