I am a complete sucker for beautiful medals.
I swore I would never run the Hotlanta Half Marathon because even the name sounded awful. It is a half marathon in downtown Atlanta in the middle of August. Heat, hills and humidity are what Atlanta races are known for. But I needed to run 9 miles for marathon training anyways, why not receive a HUGE medal for my efforts?
So I put myself in a positive mental state and decided to run it with my friends Kierstn, Denise and Michael (I use the term loosely since they are much faster than me).
We got there bright and early and parking was a breeze. They even had REAL bathrooms available to use prior to the race. The race starts and finishes next to popular Atlanta tourist attractions, such as the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke. Kierstn and I met up with Denise and Michael who introduced us to their Team in Training friends. After a quick warm up and pep talk from their coach, Jen, we were off and running!
I stayed with Kierstn for several miles before starting to realize that the hills were a lot for me. I haven’t been focusing on hills or speed from my marathon training, just distance. So they were more challenging than I had planned on. Nonetheless, I always start my races in hopes of a new PR to accompany my medal.
I slowly slipped away from Kierstn and realized that the Hotlanta course is just not a PR course for me. No big deal– I’ll just keep trekking along.
Then the monsoon started…
Our 60% chance of rain quickly dominated the course as I ran through huge puddles with lightening in the distance. I was soaked to the bone. I had to put away my music too, so my tech wouldn’t be ruined. Surprisingly, the race director didn’t change the event alerts. My mental state was slipping and my prissy runner attitude started taking over.
But then I saw Jen, one of the Team in Training coaches that I just met earlier that morning. She ran with me for several miles and really lifted my spirits! I was so happy that somebody was there to distract me from the miserable weather. We talked about how she met her husband, her daughters and my son. I quickly got to know Jen’s life details.
The running community is amazing. I just met Jen that morning and she brought me almost to the end of the Hotlanta course. I will forever be grateful that she helped me during my toughest race yet. Even though I struggled with the hills and the horrible rain, I kept pushing and made a new friend. I am very proud of myself for completing the Hotlanta Half Marathon (Aka Wetlanta Half Marathon). I would definitely run it again as a training run, but I won’t ever expect a PR with the August weather and numerous hills.
Hotlanta Race Highlights:
-Real bathrooms to use
-Great course support
-Fuel offered along with water and Nuun
-Bottled water and snacks offered post race
-Easy parking (but $7)
-Beautiful course through historic Atlanta areas