All Things Peachtree Road Race {Guest Post}

This year will be my 15th year running the Peachtree Road Race. I started running the race in 1993 and have run it on and off through a move away from and back to Atlanta and having 3 babies. It is absolutely my most favorite race to run. Knowing you are running in the world’s largest 10K among 60,000 other runners/walkers to start off the day that we celebrate our country’s independence is something I look forward to all year. If this is your first year running or you are spectating for the first time the following tips may make your trip down to Buckhead and/or Midtown a little easier. • The Peachtree Road Race starts in Buckhead near Lenox Square Mall and ends inside Piedmont Park. • Race start times: o 6:43 am Wheelchair Race o 7:18 am Women’s Elite Start o 7:30 am Main Start • Transportation: I highly recommend taking MARTA to and from the race whether you are running or spectating. Most roads on the race route will be blocked off hours before the start of the race making it near impossible to find a parking spot within walking distance of the start or throughout the route. If you do decide to drive take a look at the list of road closures and the times they are closed.

• If you are taking MARTA do yourself a favor and purchase a breeze card before the day of the race. The line to purchase a breeze card will be 50 people deep. It’s $2.50 for one trip but you’ll need to get back to your car after the race so make sure you purchase 2 trips. If you already have a breeze card you can load money onto your card online. For more information go to

• And leave early! 2 years ago I left my house at 6:30 am to get to the Doraville station and got the very last spot in the deck so make sure you leave early to get a parking spot at the station. Otherwise you’ll be parking on a side street and walking to the station. I’ve had to do that before and had a nice dent in my car when I returned after the race.

• Spectating? You’ll want to leave just as early to get to a spot on the race route or in the park at the end. In 2009 I had my husband and 22-month old son meet me in Piedmont Park at the end of the race but they didn’t get down to Midtown Station until 9:00 am and had to fight the crowd that had already finished the race heading back to MARTA. Needless to say, he hasn’t been back to watch me cross the finish line. You can find more information on spectating here

• Runners taking MARTA will get off at Lenox Station but just follow the thousands of other runners off the train. On the way back you’ll need to walk to Arts Center Station or Midtown Station. Check out MARTA’s website for more information and maps at

• You’ll want to get down to the starting area a good 45 minutes before your wave is scheduled to start. This will give you time to walk to your wave, stretch, and use one of the hundreds of port-o-potties spread throughout the Lenox area. And if the line for the potty is super long just keep walking, you’ll find another group of them with shorter lines.

• Worried about hydrating? Don’t be. There are water stops throughout the race. Most likely the water won’t be cold but you won’t care as long as it is wet.

• There are also water hoses spraying water onto runners a couple of places on the route. They will be on the right side of the street. Feel free to run through them to cool off but if you don’t want your shoes to weigh 3lbs. stay to the left.

• If you like to listen to music while you run like I do then don’t forget your headphones. And while you’re at it don’t forget to bring your ID just in case you pass out and someone needs to identify you. A scary thought I know, but the heat index is very high so it’s better to be prepared just in case.

• If you are meeting friends and family in Piedmont Park you’ll need to pick a meeting place. There will be balloons with letters throughout the park. Pick a letter to meet at as cell phone service will be hit or miss since 100,000+ other people will be trying to use their phones as well.

• Most importantly have fun! And don’t forget to smile at all the photographers on 10th street. You’ll get an email after the race to order a picture of your accomplishment.

• For more information on the Peachtree Road Race go to