Peachtree, Rock n Roll, and Atlanta Marathon
By Jim Dugger
Like a lot of folks right now, I’m just starting to dig myself out of a snow bank and access the damage. Too many days locked inside and the wife is starting to run out of indoor fix’em up projects for me. I hate snow and ice no matter how pretty it is when it comes down. Let’s think about warmer weather and some serious sweating.
The sweatiest day of the year is the 4th of July and the Atlanta Track Club recently announced that the Peachtree Road Race is expanding to “Official” 60,000 runners. Who knows how many will actually participate but they are going to print 60,000 numbers. Another change and modification to previous changes will be a lottery format registration rather than first come/first serve on-line registration. If you’ve run one of the more popular marathons such as New York City or the Houston Marathon you are probably familiar with the process.
One of the features I like about the new system is that the track club has provided an avenue to register as a “Group” of 10 or less runners. There are a lot of runners who like to run/walk the Peachtree with their family, friends, and co-workers and this will enable them to do so. If your group isn’t selected then you are still in the lottery pool to be selected as an individual runner. And, like several of the other major events, if you miss out on being picked in the lottery two consecutive years you will receive a guaranteed entry the following year. Everybody is a winner but you might have to be patient.
In case you missed the announcement last August, Savannah is going to serve as host to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon circuit, the first weekend of November. The city and tourist commission is expecting a huge economic impact from the event similar to those in San Diego and Seattle which each attracted more than 25,000 runners.
Keeping with the format of other Rock ‘n’ Roll events, a half marathon is also scheduled along with the full distance. Course information is still a bit sketchy right now, but race officials are anticipating finishing in Forsyth Park. One thing that is for certain is that the course has the potential to be very flat unless race designers get a wild hair and decide to cross the river into South Carolina. That is one very big bridge. Let’s hope not.
Also, please keep in mind that if you are planning on running the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon you should make your hotel reservations early. The tourist commission is anticipating selling out every room (15,000) in Chatham County that weekend. It won’t be like St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, but I’m sure it will run a close second.
If you can’t make the trip to Savannah for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and a more hilly course suits your conditioning, you may want to sign up for the Atlanta Marathon the previous weekend. Atlanta Track Club officials made the much-anticipated announcement of the new date of the Atlanta Marathon (Oct 30).
Separating itself from the traditional Thanksgiving date, the race is expected to draw several thousand entries making it one of the largest in the state. Moving from the previous starting location at Turner Field to Atlanta Station, the course will hit the more recognizable areas of Atlanta such as Centennial Park, Piedmont Park, and the Oakland Cemetery. Some of the same areas covered during the Atlanta Half-Marathon, but including a section of Buckhead for some additional distance.
It looks like you have at least two choices for a fall marathon in Georgia. If you want to add a third choice for 26.2 miles, you can sign up for the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, held the second weekend of November, just south of Chattanooga. It’s always good to have choices and as always thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of the page.