- 3 miles/5K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
This race was an inaugural race in Atlanta. They also host these runs in Phoenix and San Diego. You can learn about them on their website.
Swag/ Bib Pick Up:
The bib pick up for this race was at the local Road Runners Sports store. Since they are the sponsor this made sense. However my only concern here was the location. I stayed about 5 minutes from the race start. However to get my bib took a 45 minute drive north. Assuming others were local to the race area, I can imagine a lot of people took this trip. In the next coming years I would recommend to the race directors that they try and centralize the bib pick up, but also make it more of an expo. If they want to give this race a big time feel, I would say put it in the heart of Atlanta, invite vendors and make it a traditional expo.
Regardless of this the pick up process was very smooth. They had tables set up in the store where you could get in line and get all the swag and your bibs. They even offered free samples of Nuun (the hydration drink that would be on the course). Adidas was also onsite offering samples of shoes. You even got 10% off an instore purchase with your swag (which I took advantage of).
There was a person (possibly the race director, not sure) high fiving everyone who came in. Everyone was super friendly and made for a great overall first impression.
The swag was great. Since it was a beer themed run each runner received a complimentary pint glass. Once again appealing to the craft beer lover in me. And instead of a shirt with the race logo on it men got a t-shirt that read “On A Beer Run” and woman got the same but in tank top style. I was happy about this because I am 10 times as likely to wear this shirt out vs wearing a race shirt. (Not the kind to socially hang out in my race shirts). The bib was also beer themed as it was in the shape of a six pack beer holder. We also received a pair of knock around sunglasses. Super comfortable. So overall the swag was very impressive!
The race course was an interesting one. I say interesting because it is hard for me to make comparisons. I am used to running in Philadelphia where even a 5K with a few hundred runners will have a number of spectators. I am not familiar with the Atlanta running scene. Overall the course was very quiet. I can probably count on two hands the amount of people who were out there spectating the course. So it felt very lonely at times. Not a bad experience by any means, just unique for someone used to running in a city where races feel like parades and not organized runs.
The course also went down some odd paths that I am not familiar with as a runner. For a majority of the course they did not shut down the roads. Parts of the road was shut down however they were still active. At one point we were running down a highway with one lane blocked off (as seen below). Other times we would run down a two lane road with traffic operating on both sides. And for about 3 miles the course ran down an active running path. While you may think to yourself a running path is ideal for running. Think of a half marathon running down your local running trail. I had to avoid bikers, roller bladers and even the people out for their Saturday walk. Made for an interesting few miles.
Despite the active roads and odd running paths the race handled this very well. There was 1 police officer at EVERY intersection. And I do not mean major intersection, I mean any time a road intersected with the main road we were running on there was at least one police office. Not volunteer…..Police Officer. The safety they provided on this course was second to none.
After the race was over each runner received the same medal, regardless if you ran the 5K or Half Marathon. The medal was in the shape of a beer tap handle and had a bottle opener on the back of it. My recommendation would be to flip the bottle opener on the front of the medal so you can hang the medal and use it as an opener at the same time. Either way it was a cool medal for a beer lover like me.
Speaking of beer, each of age runner also received a free beer from Monday Night Brewing at the end of the race. This was the first time I really ran a race and received a craft beer. Most races just have your usual domestic macro beer that costs next to nothing. Instead I got to enjoy a delicious IPA (my favorite) after the 13.1 miles were over.
Overall I really did enjoy myself. This was an inaugural race so if they do it again in 2017 there are always things they can improve upon. However my experience running this race was so positive that I would definitely run again in 2017. If anything the uniqueness of the race course leaves me with awesome stories to tell. Everyone I met while in Atlanta was supportive and friendly. I would recommend this race to anyone who asks.