On April 1, I ran the the Chick-fil-A Half Marathon in Athens, GA. This was my second time running this race. This I was excited to run without the stress of pacing. This race was also my last double digit run before the Big Sur Marathon at the end of the month.
The expo/packet pick up
This year the race offered packet up at Big Peach Brookhaven on Thursday, which was nice for the Atlanta runners. Town Brookhaven has plenty of parking and pick up was pretty quick. Big Peach also offered a 15% on merchandise at the store. We received a bag with our shirt and a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich (yay!!). The official race expo with vendors was held in Athens on Friday, the day before the race.
My friends and I drove from Atlanta to Athens on race day. The trip was around an hour and we arrived a few minutes before take off. The great thing about the Chick-fil-A half marathon is that the runners hang out at the Classic Center in downtown Athens. The Classic Center has restrooms and plenty of room for sitting before the race.
The course has changed since I ran the race in 2015. It was still pretty hilly. We ran through a large portion of the UGA campus, but we did not run through the stadium. There was plenty of course support and the volunteers had interesting costumes. One thing I really missed this year was the parachuting stuffed cows. In the past, they were given at mile 6. Other runners reported that they were able to get a cow, but they were not available during my run. After we finished and received our medals, we went to an outdoor festival for food and the finisher festivities with vendors.
There were a few things that could have been improved. For example, they ran out of chicken biscuits for the finishers. I was able to get one, but my friend wasn't as lucky. Another improvement is making sure all the water stations are stocked. The first water station was not set up to dispense water and no volunteers were present.
Overall it was an okay experience. I am on the fence about running it next year.