Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Water for 60,000 at the Peachtree

The alarm went off at 3:30 AM, needed to leave the house by 4:00 so I could get a parking space with the other 24 volunteers for mile 1 aid station before the Atlanta PD started shutting down the roads for the annual 4th of July Peachtree Road Race.  Our job this morning was to have water ready for the 60,000 participants.  

I do a lot of races and I am ever so curious about the behind the scenes logistics, especially the big races - so I volunteered to see how things actually happen.  Following is what we did to provide water to the folks that did the 2012 Peachtree Road Race:

5:15 AM - Truck arrived with tables, barrels, liners, hoses, cups, cardboard, gloves,...

Moon over Atlanta on Peachtree Street

Set up tables, hook up the hoses (to the fire hydrant), line the barrels, and start filling them up with water:

Next divide up into teams of three or four and start filling and placing the cups on the tables:

Once you have one complete layer, put cardboard over it and repeat four more times  : )

And before you know it:

Behind the scenes and ready for business:

I did some calculations...

One layer on one table was about 7 cups by 23 cups =  ~161 cups

times 5 layers =  ~805 cups

times 25 tables =  ~20,125 cups

Oh yeah, did I mention there was a different volunteer team on the other side of the street with 25 tables?

So times 2  =  ~40,250 cups of water!!!

And the race started!

First the wheelchair athletes flew by us:

Next the elite women:

The winning time for the Women's 10K was 32:22!!

then the elite men:

The winning time for the Men's 10K was 27:37!!

and then the rest of the 60,000 people:

Many, many people came through.  Some folks drank the water, some filled their water bottles, I saw a few guys grab a cup of water and strategically position themselves in front of someone else only to throw the water over their shoulder at the (girls) behind them,  some wanted us to throw the water on them, and others simply emptied the cup of water on their head : )   It was fun watching all of this.  And yes, it does cause a mess...

Once the race was over, all of the front tables were already empty but the back tables still had water so the crew had a bit of fun taking care of this:

We broke everything down, loaded it all back into the truck, raked off the side walk, and the City of Atlanta handled the rest.

This was a fun morning!


  1. Thank you for volunteering. That's a lot of work for a free t-shirt. I hope that you get to participate in the race next year.

  2. Thanks for the peek behind the scenes, Scott, and thanks also for volunteering. I always thank the volunteers when I race, but now I'm going to make it a GREAT BIG THANK YOU! :)