Saturday, July 6, 2013

Peachtree in pictures

After running and almost dying (in my mind) during last year's AJC's Peachtree Road Race, I decided I would train and for extra measure - walk - this year's race on July 4. And, I would not be doing it alone. I recruited my children to keep me company, and my husband to cheer me on in what is known as the world's largest 10K.

The view from our 14th St. hotel room the night before the race.

I figured staying in a hotel would make the morning run smoother, and also mean less walking after the race, as it's graciously close to the finish line. The ploy helped except I forgot to take into account that my son and daughter do not like to share, especially a bed.
Judging by race morning hair, I'd say chance of rain, 100 percent.

In order to be "smarta," we took MARTA. The joke lost it's luster when we saw the crowd.

For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to start my day off with venti sweet black tea from Starbucks, which is how I somehow found myself in the porta-potty line behind this guy:
Yep - What you can't see are my children giving me that "Mom, you said to go before we left" look.

The porta-potty line was so long that the crowd actually cheered when a husband went into one with his wife in order to save time. It was around this point that I realized, despite the fact that we'd stayed in town, we would not be making our wave assignment. Regardless of that and a little drizzle, our enthusiasm was not dampened.

Here we are a mere five letters back from where we should have started.

I forgot to mention the greatest thing about being late to the starting line. We got to see some of the finest athletes I've ever seen. Their determination brought tears to my eyes.

Wheelchair athletes

My daughter and my friend took off with the runners, while my son and his friends walked in the right hand lane with me. It took some time, but we finally past this guy:

"92 and still here. Damn, I'm good."
By the way, my son went to give him a high-five, and he gave him a handshake instead. Both beamed. I ceased to complain.

Meanwhile, our cheerleaders (my husband and friend, also known as "The Two Bobs"), somehow found themselves invited to a VIP tent where they were being served hot wings and beverages.

We were later told that looking for us in the crowd of 60,000 made them dizzy - awwwww ....

Even though the temperature was a balmy 70 degrees, we took advantage of the water offered along the way, especially the holy water. Yes, holy water. A priest even sprinkled some on us and blessed as we ran by. My son declared he'd now been baptized three times.

Thanks be to God.

We didn't need to cool off too much since Mother Nature kept threatening to rain. These ladies were prepared for it, however.

 Somewhere around the three mile mark, our cheerleaders texted that my daughter and friend had just crossed the 5-mile mark. Oh, yeah, and they had to pee - the cheerleaders, I mean.

Husband trying to look pitiful in the VIP booth.

His request did make me hustle some, and it wasn't long before we ran past them. My son said he felt a little guilty for our sudden quick sprint just for the VIPs' benefit when my husband texted, "Good job!" I didn't tell him that his dad was probably just happy to be able to go to the bathroom now.

I have yet to purchase the best photo of the race, and it's of my exhilarated son fist pumping and jumping up and down for the camera. I later asked why he was so happy, and he said, "Because I thought it was the finish line."

We eventually did cross and got our coveted t-shirt.

The black color has grown on me.
We couldn't tarry long after the race as the much-talked about rain began to fall. As we hurried back to the comfort of our hotel room, we made sure to thank the policemen and women who lined our path safely back, because, all kidding aside, we shall never forget.

Happy 4th and God bless America.

Photo of the Freedom tower captured during our recent New York trip.


jana0926 said...

Great post! And super duper recap!!

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Thanks, Jana! Congrats on your awesome time!