I was co-planning a surprise birthday party for a friend and used this 5K as a decoy to get her out and away from the house while her husband worked. What I wasn’t expecting was that it would be freezing cold that day (“freezing” in Southern terms meaning 38 degrees) and all of the hills that Atlanta holds. My thighs are so much stronger now… or something like that.
Packet pickup was available two days prior as well as the morning of right outside of Colony Square. It was easy peasy- you received a shirt and race bib. No goodie bag or anything like that. They were giving away green sunglasses and green beads before the race for free that you could wear, though I wasn’t sure if the race organizers were doing it or if it was in preparation for the parade that would happen after the race.
Parking was readily available in local parking garages. I can’t remember the fee we paid, but the race directors did give out $8 off tickets that you could use when exiting the garage. So depending on how long you hung out after the race, you would just have to pay the balance.
There weren’t any port-o- potties, but you could walk into the Shops At Colony Square to use their public restroom and wait in the warm lobby until the race began.
The start line was right outside of the Shops At Colony Square. There were vendors taking St. Patrick’s-themed photos in front of the Midtown sign and promoters around for the upcoming Chips movie taking pictures and giving out swag (shirts and bags) as well. I wasn’t behaving very well before the race and… well. Fortunately, they uncuffed me in time to run. 😉
Let’s talk about the elevation.
I think it is safe to say that the course is not flat.
And clearly I don’t know much about regions because I had no IDEA that Atlanta was gonna hit me with all of those hills. Lord help my buns and thighs. It was no joke, so be prepared for that.
There was only one aid station just past the 2-mile mark and they had water.
I saw 1 photographer while running through Piedmont Park and that’s it. They posted the pictures in their Flickr album and on their Facebook page for free after the race, so that was nice.
Upon crossing the finish line, runners received their medal, there was also water, bananas and some bars available. Runners received a free beer from Reformation Brewery and there were two food trucks available for a price and one giving away food for free. (Guess which food truck I went to??)
Shout out to The Establishment of Atlanta— that goat cheese mac was on point!
On top of the food listed above, the post-race party included a live band playing music. Runners were able to sit and chill (truly chill, since it was so cold) on the tables and chairs out on the square and enjoy their post-race beer and food. Race directors also held a raffle to give away some small prizes, which was cool.
It’s definitely a race I would do again. Running through Piedmont Park was a treat as it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a small hometown race, but what a great vibe both before and after!
Distance: 3.20 miles
Finish Time: 40:45