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The AJC Peachtree Road Race is an Atlanta Independence Day tradition. It is huge, it is inspiring and the whole city turns out for it. Registration is either via lottery or runners can join the Atlanta Track Club (even if you don't live in Atlanta) for a guaranteed entry. It's crowded in all the best ways, with a great mix of elite and first-time runners, and the enthusiasm and vibe is just incredible.
OVERALL - I was absolutely blown away by this event. 60,000 people all running down Peachtree Road in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. It was mind-blowing. The entire event was just overwhelmingly perfect.
T-SHIRTS/SWAG - At the expo, we received our bib and a few discount fliers. The Peachtree t-shirt is the coveted finisher's prize - runners only get their shirts when they cross the finish line and the actual design is a complete surprise to pretty much everyone until the first runner completes the event. There is an option to purchase a medal at registration, and I considered it because I love me some bling, but I wasn't in love with it so passed.
AID STATIONS - There were many race-sanctioned water stops along the way (maybe every 1.5 miles? - I was too overwhelmed to keep track), as well as plenty of spectator aid stands with more interesting options: beer, mimosas, popsicles, cheese balls, etc.
COURSE SCENERY - The majority of the race in on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. It's a beautiful area, but the entire route is pretty much packed with spectators and well wishers. It's incredibly motivating and so much fun to high five the people who have come out to cheer on the runners.
EXPO QUALITY - Great, well-organized expo. Lots of vendors and interactive experiences. Mizuno had a great setup of race memorabilia.
ELEVATION DIFFICULTY - Cardiac. Hill. O.M.G. Coming from Florida, which is at sea level and flat as a board, the hills were very much a factor for me. My Garmin reported a total elevation of 248ft, which is pretty serious. I managed but it was rough.
PARKING/ACCESS - The best way to access the race is by the MARTA train. The actual start line of the race is about 1.5 miles from the nearest MARTA station. The finish line is about the same from its nearest station (except its mostly uphill). It's not difficult to get to the trains or to and from the race, but it does require some planning and coordination.
POST RACE - After the event, runners can celebrate in Piedmont Park. There is plenty of snacks and water, popsicles, an da whole truckload of Coke products.
I said this was going to be a one and done, but I'm already trying to figure out how to make this happen again next year.