Peachtree Survival Guide


It’s the end of June. The word’s largest 10K is just days away. Do you have everything you need to run 6.2 miles with 59,999 of your closest friends with minimal stress and maximal fun?

How are you going carry your MARTA Breeze card, your ID, some money, your phone, and your keys?

Will shorts with a zippered pocket do, or will you need something more such as a Nathan Mirage Pack. Peachy’s tip – no matter how you carry your valuables during the Peachtree Road Race, place them in a zip-top bag first. To protect your smart phone, wrap in a paper towel to absorb moisture before placing in the zip-top bag.

It’s going to be hot – do you have a lightweight, light color singlet or short-sleeve shirt? Peachy’s tip – wear light colors, and expose as much skin as you can. (In good taste of course.)

Don’t just rely on the water stops to keep you hydrated. Be eco-chic and use handheld or waist pack hydration gear on race day. Over 500,000 cups are used and tossed into landfill at Peachtree every year. Peachy’s tip – fill bottle(s) 3/4 of the way and freeze the night before. By the time your wave starts, much of the ice will have melted, and you’ll have cold fluids along the way. Also, if/when grabbing cups, pour one in you, and pour one on you, at each water stop to cool your body down.

How about protection from the harmful rays of the sun? Slip on a tech run hat, some sunscreen that won’t sting your eyes, and moisture wicking apparel with SPF in the fabric. Peachy’s tip – prolong the moisture wicking and SPF properties of your apparel. Wash in cold water on gentle cycle, and hang to dry. Besides, placing your technical gear in the dryer may cause you to bake the odors in, and leave you with “perma-funk!” (Avoid perma-funk with Win High Performance Sports Detergent.)

The items mentioned are available in all of our stores.

You’ve Got the Gear Figured Out – How About a Race Day Game Plan?

Let’s start with the expo*. Remember to print out and bring a copy of the race confirmation email you received from the Atlanta Track Club, or be prepared to show it on your smart phone. You also need to show your ID. If you’re picking up a number for a friend, bring a copy of his/her confirmation and ID. Also, seriously consider taking MARTA to the expo. There is a lot of activity and traffic expected downtown on those days, during expo hours. Besides, it ‘s a good rehearsal for race day. If you drive to the Expo, remember to pick up a MARTA fare card while you’re there to avoid the hassle race morning.

Remember to hydrate well all week. Don’t wait for July 3rd to start drinking water. Alcohol can be dehydrating, so save major partying for after the race. Eat well, but don’t go crazy, and avoid trying something new the day before the race.

The night before the race, have an early dinner, pin your race bib to your shirt, get everything you need set out and ready to go, including your personal hydration and MARTA fare card. Have your game plan figured out with friends and family running the race with you or meeting you along the way. Where will you meet? What’s the back up plan if you can’t find each other?

Race morning – get up and get moving! No snooze button for you! Plan to arrive at least an hour before your start wave takes off. Bear in mind that MARTA is going to be very, very crowded, so give yourself much more time than you think you need. Have a light breakfast, and bring a small snack to eat about 45 minutes before your wave takes off. (A banana or sports gel are good choices.) Remember to hydrate while you wait. Speaking of hydrating, get in that porta-potty line as soon as you arrive at the start area. When you’re done, if time allows, get in the back of the line again for one last trip.

If you’re not running in the first wave with the elite athletes, take it easy! It’s going to crowded, hot, and humid. Relax, and enjoy the spectacle. Don’t expend unnecessary energy trying to run around people. Peachtree is not the place to try for your 10K PR. Think of it as a moving party with great people watching. The first 5K is a lot easier than the 2nd 5K, so save some energy for Cardiac Hill and the later miles.

Drink at every water stop along the way. This is where carrying your own fluids is really helpful. While everyone around you goes off to the side to grab a drink, you can sip from your bottle while you stay in the middle of the road and miss the mess. Water stops can get very slippery, so take care. When your personal fluids are down to half, go to the farthest table at the next water stop with the top removed from your bottle. The volunteers will happily refill for you. While that happens, it’s OK to grab a cup and pour one in you and one on you to keep cool.

When you get on to 10th Street, smile for the photographers on the bridge above the road. Don’t be fooled – this is not the finish line! Keep going just a little bit more.

After you cross the finish line, keep moving! This is not the place to stop and wait for a friend. There are a lot of people behind you trying to get through. Head straight for the water, pick up the coveted T-shirt, and celebrate your success. Then stick around – there will be all kinds of great post-race treats to eat. Think about watching the awards ceremony to cheer on the elite athletes. The stage area makes a great reunion spot too!

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a ton of fun. With a well thought out plan, it will be a total blast!

*Peachy’s Tip – don’t forget a copy of your race confirmation and ID to pick up your number. Remember, MARTA may very well be “smarta”.