Updated: Jan 3, 2020
March 17th, 2013 Half Marathon
Finish Time: 1:46:57 Age Group: 49
Even though it was a course full of rolling hills, it was by far one of the coolest and most fun races I have run. The expo was ok, not as great as Miami which is also put on by U.S Road Sports, but they had a NormaTec booth and I was quite ecstatic about that.
The race starts and ends at Centennial park which I already give an A+ for because as enjoyable as new Orleans was, I did not like having to take a shuttle back to the start. Centennial park was a great place to hang out before and after the race started and across the street is the aquarium, world of coke and CNN headquarters. The day before it was very warm so I was worried I was going to be extra hot, but the race day morning was actually chilly. Gear check was super easy as it was at Miami. Only improvement could have been more clear signs about where the bathrooms were. The race begins right at 7 am and it was during daylight savings so it was dark out for the first part of the race. You head down towards Georgia state and all throughout the city. Along the course, we were provided with cheering sections, water, and Powerade which was a change up from the typical Gatorade. Music provided by Hard Rock Cafe the official sponsor of the race. at certain spots along the half marathon route was MnM's and jelly beans which was a nice change from just GU. Apparently along the marathon course there were oreo cookies, peanut butter cookies, some thin mints and some guys handing out beer.
The course took us through some lovely neighborhoods, heading out towards five points, midtown then back out to little 5 points. If you continued on with the full, you head out towards Decatur then turn back and go through druid hills. The half turned at little 5 points through Virginia highland. Through Piedmont park which was beautiful and definitely a favorite of mine. followed by running through Georgia tech's campus along frat row and being a sorority girl myself, I enjoyed seeing Tech's campus and their football stadium. But my favorite moments was when we were outside of the city making our way back in and you could see the skyscrapers sticking out of the trees. It's crazy how far out we were but how close we were as well.
Yes, the hills were challenging but it was nice to have a change instead of running just flat the entire time. going up, taking a break and going back down, running on flats. It was much more enjoyable in that sense that I found it more challenging and I ran it faster than New Orleans. And I Loved the medal. The race this year took place on St Patty's day so there were lots of green outfits everywhere and, of course, the medal as a 4 leaf clover on it. Definitely a favorite of mine. One thing I was rather disappointed about was the after party food. The race is the Publix Georgia Marathon and as a grocery store you would have thought Publix would have put more of a selection of food options in the bags. That was not the case and as a result they get a C+.
Overall I highly suggest this race if you are ok with some hills. Perks: The medal, course, on-course support, location, Ehh Not a fan...: The bathroom situation beforehand, the after party food selection Grade: B+