Let me first state that it's so hard for me not to forget something when I leave the house. When I go on vacation or head out to work, it's very common for me to forget an item of some kind. This morning it was my Accellerade. Luckily I was close enough to the house that I could turn around and fetch it, however it did make me a little later than I wanted to be.
Parking for a race this large can be hectic. I ended up parking several blocks away from the starting line, which meant a little more walking than I had really wanted to do before the race, but it was fine. Walking through downtown Atlanta before dawn meant seeing a lot of homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks. Not to get distracted by social commentary, but I felt bad for these folks.
Once I got to Centennial Olympic Park, I needed to use the port-a-potties. Unfortunately I think half of the race participants needed to do the same. Luckily the mass of people there meant that many of us would be starting the race a little past the 7am start time. I ended up beginning my run at about 7:12am.
All along the race there were tons of volunteers who worked hydration stations, directed us when the course made turns, and generally cheered us on. Lots of other volunteers from charities also manned hydration stations. There was a spectator who held a sign that said "Charlie Sheen says you're #winning!!" She also said that we had tiger blood LOL!! The spectators in general were that positive and encouraging. In fact, there were more spectators than I had anticipated, particularly at the finish line. It all makes a difference when you're feeling like the hills are defeating you.
I also got to see a very cool view of Atlanta. I've lived in the area for nearly 20 years now, but it's so different when you're driving around vs running. I had forgotten how beautiful the Inman Park area was. Georgia State University and Georgia Tech have also grown tremendously and built a lot of cool stuff around the city. I had never been to the 4th Ward, so that was cool to see. In fact, they had the best cheering section in my opinion.
Overall it was a well run race. Publix did an excellent job of sponsoring it. I got a cool medal, the shiny blanket after the race, and a very nice race t-shirt. The expo was awesome. I bought a t-shirt that says "If it weren't for people like me, you'd have nobody to pass" on the front and "If you can read this, then I'm not last" on the back. Perfect for the slow pokes like me!
Btw, the compression sleeves were great. I wore them during the race, and everything else hurts except my calves. They're worth every penny!!