Everyone it’s been awhile since I posted but, I’ll be more regular (thinking weekly) in the future…
I finished my 5th AJC Peachtree Road Race.
Actually, I completed the Peachtree Road Race route twice last week. The first was on July 4th race day with 56,993 other people in the scorching heat. The second time was with one of my favorite participants Rick who missed race day due to a family emergency, but he was coming back from a hip replacement and trained for 12 weeks to complete the race again.
Truth is while Race Day was fun, I really enjoyed Peachtree No 2. just as much even though there were fewer people, lower temperatures, and traffic lights. Ok, let’s be real, I’m not a huge fan of large crowds, dislike running in the heat, and love a good traffic light break!
I met Rick last year during my second Atlanta Truck Club In-Training for Peachtree Road Race program as a Run Lead. He was determined to make his comeback to the Peachtree after having taken a several year break due to injury from his long career as a firefighter. We trained together and he did it! I had so much fun training with him last year that I started early on asking if he was coming back to training. (Check out the ATC training page for more info on the training programs!)
So of course Rick was back this year for more fun. Here’s the thing he had another hip replacement before starting training. As a matter of fact, he was cleared to start training the week training started for Peachtree. I was excited!
Week after week, Rick came to training and work hard. It is fun for me every week to do the planned route with Rick (It totally had nothing to do with the fact that I designed the routes and love to see first hand how the #partyintheback tackles the challenge!). A few days before race day, he had a family emergency that took him out-of-state and couldn’t do the race (on race day).
He was sad and disappointed that he was not going to put all his hard work to the test. His wife had a great idea to do the course when he returned (here’s the thing…its a simple route with side walks and open all year-long). So that is what we did.
I assured him that we would give him a race day experience (he may or may not have given me that face of “O God…what does she have up her sleeve…” It’s funny how participants worry when I say I have a present for them. Not sure if it is because I generally follow that up with some gift of hill repeats or this nifty new way I found to add some elevation to the route.). I was excited because I would get to do the race with him!
It was a no brainer when I heard the idea to say I’m in and I bet others are in too! So the #partyintheback members Susan, Jenny, and I along with Rick’s wife Susan gathered at Lennox on Sunday July 10th at 7:30(ish) to start Rick’s Peachtree. Unlike race day, we had a breeze and cooler temperatures. Susan and Susan took off and led the way. Rick, Jenny and I kept our pace. Rick was in top form and we were moving.
It was fun! He had a cheering section from across Peachtree Street one of his friends who knew that he was doing his race. We had cheers from others too! Jenny took great photos along the way. Other runners were out along the way doing what runners do with the Good Morning and Nice Work call outs. Even though we had to wait for traffic lights and stay on the sidewalks, we had a great time. We made the turn on 10th and one of the PRR street banners was on the ground. So naturally we had to take pictures. At the finish, Adriane, fellow #partyintheback member, was dressed in her ATC volunteer shirt with ice-cold water and Gatorade. She cheered and was a welcome sight for Rick and his ladies (while cooler than July 4th, it was still July in Atlanta!!!).
I’m proud of Rick and all of his hard work. It was just one of those moments that reminds me why I love being a run leader helping others reach their goals. It’s also fun to be able to say I did the Peachtree twice in a week too!
I’m telling you that when you give back you get more than you give!
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