Saturday, June 21, 2014

Atlanta Streetcar Run the Rails Race Report

Race banner
The 2014 Atlanta Streetcar Run the Rails 5K is in the books.  My first race in over 7 months went better than expected.  My entry was decided last minute earlier in the week after finding out that my longtime running buddy Jim Macie was racing.  I figured that I'd race too and we could keep each other company on the drive to and from Atlanta.
The race finish
The finish again
The finish was at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta.

Woodruff Park information and race packet pick-up booth
Race bib
Race t-shirt
Jim's hat was not very aerodynamic and that probably slowed him down a bit.

Jim ready to race
Jim and I arrived about 30 minutes before the 8AM start time.  Runners and walkers were milling about.  There were a few Atlanta Track Club guys there.  They were 6' 2" and 145 lbs.  I knew I wouldn't be seeing them for long.

As the runners lined up behind  the start line timing mat I positioned myself about 20 feet or 100 people back.  The horn blew and we were off.  The first 1 mile was a gradual downhill slope which I conquered in 6:24.  With the race only a third done, as I looked west up Auburn Avenue I could see the ATC runners in the distance well ahead.  The rest of the race wouldn't go so well.  Auburn Avenue was mostly uphill and my pace slowed because of it.  I clocked in at an 8:07 pace.  Jim remarked after the race that he thought the course was short.  He was right.  The distance was 2.88 miles.   I had expected to finish in about 23 minutes and if the course was 3.1 miles I probably would have.  Since it was over 2/10th of a mile short, I finished in 21:00 on my Garmin and 21:10 on the race clock.  The course was, as one might expect, pot-marked with pipe covers, metal plates, and divots although I didn't see anything that would qualify as a pot-hole.
The general make up of the racers seemed to be college aged men and women and young professionals. There were very few kids and older people, which is a good thing for Jim who received two awards at the end of the day.  He collected a medallion for finishing 3rd in his age-group and another award for being the "Oldest Runner" to participate.  Jim said that the second award will probably not be displayed prominently at the Macie household.

Me receiving my award
Jim receiving his award
My results - a 20th place finish changed to a 21st place finish in the final results
I finished 20th overall and masters male winner - first finisher over 40 years of age.

Jim's results
My "Masters Male Winner" award
Jim's "Oldest Runner" award
Jim's 3rd Place Age-Group award
The streetcar rails look like a serious hazard for cyclists.  The slick metal rails adjacent to a 2" deep trench will likely catch a number of cyclists off guard before throwing them to the pavement.

The streetcar rails

See all my pictures from the race here.

Thanks for reading.