Monday, March 24, 2014

Number 47 - 2014 Georgia Marathon

For race number 47 I completed the Georgia Marathon.  The significance of this marathon for me, it was the first marathon since hurting my knee in Soldier Marathon.  So with knee brace strapped on I headed out about 4:30 AM to catch a Marta train (Atlanta's subway system) down to Centennial Olympic Park.

Upon exiting the train at the Peachtree Center Station I pretty much followed the crowd to get to the park.  Still dark but it didn't matter - much activity going on.  Actually it seemed quite festive.

Not a typical pre-race

Lots of people, the guy on the P.A. said there were over 13,000 people signed up for the marathon, half marathon , and 5K.  I think he also said 42 states and 22 countries were represented.  Big crowd.  They had 14 corrals (A-N) and since these are in finish time increasing estimate order, me, being a walker, was assigned to corral M.  When I got to corral M, noticed a sign that said "1/4 Mile" which meant a quarter of a mile worth of people would start this race before me : )

It took about 12 minutes for my corral to get to the starting line once the race started.  And we were off.  It was crazy crowded at first but after a mile or so was just crowded.   At mile 7 the marathon route split from the half marathon and it really thinned out for the duration of the race.

I really did like this course in regards to what you see on it - it was a great tour of the City of Atlanta.  Sure, I had driven many of these roads before but there is so much missed from a car.  The finisher's medal ribbon included many of the major spots the course went through:

The Carter Center
Centennial Olympic Park
The King Center - Ebenzer Baptist Church
Little Five Points
The house from "Driving Miss Daisy"
Piedmont Park
Inman Park
City of Decatur
Agnes Scott College
Emory University
Georgia Tech
Bobby Dodd Stadium
Old Fourth Ward

Really enjoyed this course!

The marathon had a 6:30 time limit so it was my goal to walk the entire course under that and I did.  I was happy with the outcome.  At this point I'm not sure I'll do it again though (never say never).   I much prefer the half marathon distance so maybe next time I'll do the 13.1 mile instead.  We'll see - have plenty of time to decide.

As usual the last few miles were the toughest - thighs screaming, feet screaming,...  Yeah, I was ready for it to be over!  So after about 108,000 steps I crossed the finish line, got a bottle of water, chocolate milk, post race food bag and stretched for awhile.  After that was the anti-climatic walk back to the Marta station.  Made it to Marta waited a few minutes and caught a train.  Luckily the train was not too crowded - was able to find a seat and relax.  So I'm on the train, not sleeping but eyes more or less shut and we go a few stations - people getting off, coming on.  When I opened my eyes, thought I was hallucinating...

marathon induced hallucinations!