Run Road Atlanta 2012

Categories: Race Report   Running

My plan for January 21 for the last 6 months or so has been to run the Hogpen Hill Climb. When I finally went to register for it at the end of December, looking around Active.com, we saw that my friends were timing a race that was not only closer, but the venue sounded unique, the Run Road Atlanta 5K, 10K and Fun Run.

Road Atlanta is a Petite La Mans race track that has all the classic elements that make for a great car race.  Elevation changes, blind corners, and lots of personality. Of course, I didn’t know this when I signed up, since the only experience I’ve had is hearing the noise when running nearby. (And the only other race course I’d been on before was Sebring, which from what I saw of it was flat as a pancake.)    I thought this would be flat too, and would be a great course to do a speed check, since I’ve been trying to get faster since last summer.  Being gung-ho, I signed up for both the 10K and 5K.

I had to laugh when I got the the track, since they had a poor security guard out there who had to sign every single person in. I’m not sure why we were signing in, maybe because we were going on the track, but there was a bit of backed up traffic at the gate.

There was a nice little expo set up.  The beneficiary of the race is a the Hall County World Language Academy, and they had a number of kid’s dentists, and a bike helmet fitting, and a special contest going on for all the schools in the area.

The course was a lot tougher than I expected. (Of course, I was expecting flat!)  It started with a short, steep climb that thinned the pack out. The rest of the course was rolling hills, except for the straight-away that had a slight descent for it, which worked great to stretch out the legs after the climb at the beginning.  For anyone who’s been to the track, we went in the opposite direction as the car races.

The 10K went first, at 8:00.  It was two laps.  I did the first in 28 minutes, but lost a couple minutes on the second and finished in 59:15.  I’m happy with a sub one hour, but would have liked to have been closer to 56 minutes.  We had a bit of rain, thunder, and some lightning in the distance, which made it a exciting. (The guy next to me and I were pointing out that we were at the furthest location out, if that lightning got any closer, we’d be screwed.)

After a 1/2 hour rest, the 5K was run. It was a single lap, and knowing what was coming up, I started a bit slower and just enjoyed the run.  I finished in 29:50, which I won’t feel bad about.  Looking at the preliminary results, I was 4th in my age group out of 10.  The weather for this lap was a bit nicer, and we only got sprinkled on for a few minutes.

Road Atlanta - 5K by bigrahn at Garmin Connect - Details.

After the races, I partook in the the food.  Yeah, they had a good spread…there was the usual bagels, cookies and banana’s. But they had the bonus food.  Hot chicken soup and breakfast burritos!  Yeah, that hit the spot! A company was giving out sample drinks, FRS, so enjoyed some of that. (It was good, but nutritionally a little high in the sugar for me.)

From there, I hung out until the door prizes were given out, not really paying attention to the awards.  I looked at the medals earlier, and the over winners were impressive…the things were the size of a salad plate.  Since I thought I was fourth, I figured no reason to really pay attention, so I completely missed the fact that I actually won second in my AG!  I only found out later when I went by Runners Fit to get some new shoes.   So there it was, my second time in my life placing in a race, and just like the first, I missed all the glory and adoring fans.

I had a blast, and will definitely plan on coming back again.

I was inspired by three people at this race.  At about the 2 mile mark of the 5K, I saw a couple guys ahead of me who were struggling a bit.  I was wondering how they got up there so fast as I passed by, given that they were a bit on the bigger size and struggling a bit.  After I finished, I realized that they were actually still out there from the 10K.  Instead of giving up, or not even showing up at all, they spent two hours out there struggling around that course. (And as I implied above, it wasn’t exactly a stroll around the mall.)  I grabbed a couple bottles of water when I was done to bring down to them for when they finished, and then I saw that behind them was another lady who was also finishing it up a few minutes behind them.

Congrat to the three of you!  And a shout out to the timers, who kept the clock running for them so they could have an official finish time. (I’ve been at the tail end of races before, when by the time we finish, everything is packed up and we’re left wondering if we’re even done or not.)

Written on January 22, 2012