Disclaimer: I received free entry to the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
On Sunday, I ran the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler. My adventure began though on Friday morning, when I left Orlando and began my drive up to Atlanta. Unfortunately, I waited too long to book a plane ticket, so driving it was! It’s a longer drive than I would have liked, even using toll roads. It’s also not the most exciting, so in the future, I will either fly up there, or only drive if I have friends along.
I arrived in Atlanta before 7pm Friday night (didn’t leave my parents place where I left my parakeet, Toby until about 10am), and boy was I ready to park my car and not drive for awhile! A fellow BibRave Pro, Jessica was kind enough to offer to let me stay at her place, and that was awesome. Once I got my stuff into the guest room, we headed out for a much-needed dinner. She took me to Grindhouse Killer Burgers, and it was sooo good! They have the Impossible Burger, and I have been really wanting to try it. Let me tell you, it most definitely did not disappoint! After dinner, we made a stop at the nearby Kroger for some things, then back to her place. The evening ended with a viewing of Iron Man 2. Always great hanging out with fellow Marvel Universe fans!
The next morning, we did a little shopping before hitting up the packet pickup at Atlantic Station. The Station is a shopping/dining center that used to be the Atlantic Steel Mill. We had lunch at BGR The Burger Joint, and it was good! We both ended up having a veggie burger with grilled onions and bbq sauce and tater tots. Highly recommend! After a very filling lunch, we walked over to packet pickup.
Atlanta Track Club sets up a pop-up location for packet pickup at Atlantic Station. It was super easy to get my bib and all. I just walked up to the volunteers, told them my name, and all set. The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler & 5k is sponsored by Mizuno, so the race shirt is Mizuno, as is all of the race gear. Runners could stock up on tees, hoodies, pint glasses, and of course any fuel/nutrition they may need. Clif reps were on hand with granola samples for hungry participants. I didn’t sample it myself, but I heard it all was good!
The remainder of Saturday was spent back at Jessica’s place, where we later watched another Marvel movie (AntMan & the Wasp), and ordered in dinner. Nice to have a relaxing evening before race morning, especially after driving in the car for most of the day prior.
Race morning was cold! This Florida girl didn’t expect temps in the 40s for the race, I thought it was going to be high 50s. Thankfully, I did have some layers with me, but I didn’t pack capris, so I wore my Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra skirt. Jessica had to get to the race early, as she was volunteering, so I opted to go with her rather than sleep the extra 30 minutes. I did wait in the warm car though, until I knew I had to get my butt moving though!
Once outside, I hit up the port-o-lets. It was there that I met up with another BibRave Pro, Samantha. We snagged a pre-race photo, and wished each other a great race. After doing my business, I walked over to get into my corral. I was happy to see that being in the last corral had its perks, we were right by the parking garage. That allowed me to stay a bit warmer and away from the winds for a bit longer. Then, before I knew it, our corral was headed to the start.
I wasn’t really feeling it that morning, so my plan was to just take it easy and get to the finish. While it’s always nice to get a great pace, I knew that the cold weather that I hadn’t planned on, and just generally how I was feeling wasn’t going to result in a great finish time. I also had issues with my right knee going into the race, which I attributed to my long drive. My left foot’s plantar fasciitis was also acting up on me.
That all said, the race support from spectators at this race is amazing! I was constantly impressed with every spectator, especially the non-profit groups that lined the route. Atlanta Track Club selects 10 non-profits each year for the cheer stations. These groups get donations to their organizations based upon enthusiasm, participation and assistance. Each group does a theme at their cheer station, which I loved. I saw butterflies, dinosaurs, bananas, and sports fanatics. It really pepped me up and I enjoyed them a lot.
This race has a special aspect to it known as the Cardiac Hill Challenge. At about mile two, the one mile stretch of Peachtree Road rises or falls (the latter this year) more than 12 stories in elevation is referred to as “Cardiac Hill.” Atlanta Track Club and Mizuno team up for the challenge, and the top 50 men and women who run down the stretch the fastest get a prize. The fastest man and woman also get the title of King and Queen of Cardiac Hill. The signs along this mile were so awesome. They made me smile and made me chuckle. And, the cheer squad along that mile was super enthusiastic. It was tough, but I admit, I kind of enjoyed the challenge! And hey, it was my fastest mile of the race! 🙂
The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler is the third in the Triple Peach Series. The first of which is the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, and third is Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon on November 22nd. If runners do all three events, they earn a Triple Peach finisher’s medal at the finish line of the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. I noticed quite a number of local Atlanta folks who had a unique Triple Peach bib, so seems to be quite popular and the way to go if you can get out to all three events.
This race wasn’t easy for me, and I learned how much I need to again add in hill training to my running. The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler has one of the toughest elevation profiles of the Atlanta races according to my Atlanta Track Club friends. So, I guess taking it on without much hill training was a little nuts for this Florida runner. I can tell you, if I return to run it (which I’d like to), I will most definitely train better for those hills! They can truly kick your butt if you aren’t ready for them!
While I didn’t like to drive to/from Atlanta, I did enjoy this race and my experience. I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a great, well-supported 10 mile race. They aren’t easy to come by, and Atlanta Track Club does a great job with their races from what I experienced during the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler.