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I began my trip to the start of the Georgia Marathon/half marathon at 5:20am. Got to the Brookhaven Marta Station and was on the platform by 5:45am for what should have been a 20-20 minute trip. No train arrived until after 6 and by that time we were packed in like sardines and became more and more compressed as we stopped at each station until we reached Peachtree Center at which point the train simply would not move because it was so overcrowded. We got off and walked to the start area. By the time I did a portapoddy stop I had to line up way in the back behind the 7 hour marathon folks and walkers. I could not get to my corral.<br><br>
The race started at 7:00. It took a little over 13 minutes to hit the starting mat from. I was having to constantly dodge walkers from the start trying to catch up so I could finish around the two hour mark. At mile 1 I caught the 7 hour pace group leader. Then as we went by the Martin Luther King Center and a really nice church choir singing for us and giving us high fives as we went by I caught in order the 6 hour and 5 hour pace leaders. Just beyond the MLK center was the first water stop. It was on the other side of the street and I decided to simply wait until I got to mile 4 because there was such a crunch of runners there.<br><br>
Right around mile 5 the half and full marathoners split. Running the half I made a left turn and we ran by the Carter Center involving a mile out and back course which would take us to the 10k split (58:57) timing mats. Coming out of the Carter Center we passed through Littfle 5 Points and then continued to the Virginia Highlands area. All along the course different neighborhoods were cheering us on which really did boost spirits. Our bibs had our names on them and people would sometimes callout our names as we went by, also a nice touch. Virginia Highlands encompassed miles 7 and 8 which then sent us through Inman Park and then passing there into Piedmont Park.<br><br>
Around mile 7 the half marathon mile markers disappeared and we had to judge our mileage by the marathon mileage markers but they were pretty close. Passing through Piedmont Park we exited just where the Peachtree Road Race ends and then went up Peachtree Street to Piedmont, to 14th street with a slightly funny 200 yard out and back apparently to make the course exactly 13.1. We turned onto Peachtree Street from 14th and ran just a little over two miles to the finish at Woodruff Park.<br><br>
I would finish with a gun time of 2:16:11 and a chip time of 2:01:55 for a 9:18 pace. I would really have liked a 1:50 time but considering my start and the amount of time I had to make up I was satisfied with the time. I even had a slightly negative split from the 10k timing mats to the finish. The race was very enjoyable.<br><br>
Overall, a very nice scenic race for the half marathon that went through some very nice historical neighborhoods. The temps were 15 degrees above normal (we did set a record high today) and for the full marathoners I'm sure they were really feeling the effects.<br><br>
The winner of the marathon was coming into view as I was exiting the finish chute. I exited got a bottle of water and an apple to eat, walked back to the marta station and then ran into some trouble. I very nearly collapsed and I'm not exactly sure why. I got off the train at the North Avenue Station, was very dizzy and in a cold sweat. I decided to just sit in the coolness of the station right for 10 minutes until my head stopped spinning and I could be sure I was not going to end up on the floor. For a brief time I was really worried I might have to ask for medical assistance but but the dizziness passed and I began feeling just a little bit better and I boarded the next train and went home.<br><br>
Despite the initial problems of non-existent water and powerade stations I think this marathon and half will become very popular with Atlantans as it becomes better organized. It is a much better race than the Atlanta marathon/half held on Thanksgiving morning which simply goes through empty downtown and business districts.
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