Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Running for a Good Cause

Atlanta hosts a variety of running events during the fall, including many that support important community groups. If you’re looking to run for a higher cause, here’s a few road races to consider:

Red Devil Dash – September 13
This 5K run/walk event takes place at Druid Hills High School, located at 1798 Haygood Drive in Atlanta. Proceeds support Philip Hicks Memorial Soccer Scholarship Fund and the Druid Hills Soccer Booster Club.

Four Seasons Run for Research – September 20
An annual race hosted by the Four Seasons, it benefits the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Health System. The race takes place at the Four Season, which is located at 75 14th Street in Atlanta. A fun bonus is the chance to win a stay at a Four Seasons hotel. Event registrants are automatically entered in a drawing to win a trip to one of five Four Seasons locations. The Grand Prize is a stay at the Four Seasons in Nevis, West Indies, Carribbean.

Starlight Atlanta Run for Kids – October 4
This first-annual event takes place at Lullwater Conservation Park at Emory University. The Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation helps seriously ill children and their families by providing comfort, support and entertainment during all phases of their medical journey. Lullwater Park is located at 1463 Clifton Road in Atlanta.

3rd Annual Patty Foell Road Race – October 19
Located at the Doc Chey’s at 1424 N Highland Ave, this race honors the memory of Patty Foell who was a well-known Atlanta runner killed in 2005 by a car while on a run. All race proceeds are donated to the Patty Foell Fund within the Atlanta Track Club.

ZOOMA Atlanta – November 16
Hosted at Atlantic Station, this running event is designed to inspire women to get active. Participants can sign-up at to raise funds for CARE. Runners receive a t-shirt, boxed lunch, mini spa treatments and free training. The post-race party includes live music, shopping, demos and product samplings.

WonderGirl – November 16
Girls on the Run of Atlanta and the Atlanta Youth Soccer Association host this 5K Road Race. Proceeds benefit both organizations. The race takes place at the Arizona Avenue Soccer Complex, near Decatur and Kirkwood.

This week’s featured run is a 5 mile route through Druid Hills. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Druid Hills – 5 Miles

· Start at the CVS location at 1554 N. Decatur Road
· Turn right on N. Decatur
· Turn right on Oakdale Road
· Oakdale becomes Emory Road and cross Oxford Road
· Follow Emory to Briarcliff Road
· Turn left on Briarcliff
· Turn left on Harvard Road
· Turn left on Springdale Road
· Cross N. Decatur and continue on Springdale
· Turn left on Ponce de Leon Avenue
· Turn left on Lullwater Road
· Turn right on N. Decatur and return to CVS

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why do I run?

Like me, a lot of people I know started running for the physical benefits (e.g. managing weight and building endurance). But over time, I’ve found that the mental aspects of running start to matter more.

What do I mean? Running helps me unwind when I’ve had a stressful day. As a working mom, it’s often the only time during the day that I have to myself. Morning runs help me mentally prepare for my day, while evening runs relax my body and calm my mood.

Why do you run? Please share your thoughts by contributing comments to this blog.

This week’s featured run comes from Big Peach Running Company in Decatur. It’s a 6.88 mile route through Decatur, Oakhurst and Druid Hills. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Decatur – 6.88 miles

· Start at Big Peach Running Company on E. Trinity Place
· Turn left on Trinity and head towards S. Candler Street
· At the Dairy Queen, turn right onto S. Candler Street and cross the railroad tracks
· Turn right on E. Davis Street
· Turn left on S. McDonough Street
· Turn right on Oakview
· From Oakview, turn right onto E. Lake Drive
· Stay on E. Lake, passing the Baptist church and the Marta Station
· Turn left onto Ponce de Leon Ave
· At the sign for Deepdene Park, cross Ponce and turn right on N. Ponce de Leon Ave
· At the end of N. Ponce de Leon, turn left on Ponce de Leon Ave
· Take Ponce back into Decatur
· Turn left on Commerce Drive
· Turn right on College Avenue
· Turn right on S. McDonough (run past Decatur H.S.)
· Turn right on Trinity
· Stop at the start point (Big Peach Running Company)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Running Groups Thrive in Atlanta

Through a Google search on Atlanta running, I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of group runs organized in the metro area. There are groups that cater to a variety of fitness levels, distances, and personal interests. At the Atlanta Track Club’s (ATC) site, I found over 60 group runs listed for every day of the week. I’ve listed a few below:

Oakhurst Running Club
Meets Wednesday at 7:00 pm and Saturdays at 9:00 am in front of One Step at a Time, located in Decatur at 650 East Lake Drive.

Virginia-Highlands Running Club
This group meets Wednesdays at 7:00 pm near the fire station on N. Highland Avenue.

Roswell Runners Club
Starts at 6:30 pm on Thursdays near the Square at Chaplin’s Restaurant on 555 South Atlanta Street.

Chattahoochee Road Runners
Mondays at 6:00 pm in Marietta, behind the TGI Friday’s on Powers Ferry Road.

Windward Road Runners
Meets on Saturdays at 6:30 am at the Starbucks located at 3070 Windward Parkway.

This week’s featured run comes from the UPS Health and Fitness Center. It’s a 4.5 mile loop through Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

UPS Run – Sandy Springs/Dunwoody:

· Start at the corner of Abernathy and Glenlake Parkway (near 400)
· Turn right on Glenlake Parkway
· Turn right on Glenridge Drive
· Turn left on Spalding Drive
· Stay on Spalding Drive (turn right at Dairymple Rd and Spalding Dr)
· Turn right on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road
· From Peachtree-Dunwoody, turn left onto Abernathy Road
· End at start point

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Runners Share Feedback on the Peachtree Road Race

Congratulations to the runners who participated in this year’s Peachtree Road Race. The race is a Fourth of July tradition in Atlanta and spectators make sure it’s a festive and patriotic celebration. While I haven’t run the race in a few years, I continue to be amazed at the Atlanta Track Club’s (ATC) logistics expertise for managing an event of this size.

I was curious to hear from runners about their thoughts on the race’s new route and its impact on their Peachtree experience. Some runners found it tough ending the race on an uphill at Juniper. Everyone that I talked to missed the Piedmont Park experience. However, there was lots of kudos for the ATC. Runners felt the Track Club did a top-notch job managing the event despite the challenges of hosting 55,000+ people at the Civic Center’s parking lot.

How was your race experience? Share your feedback by contributing comments to this blog.

This week’s featured run is from Virginia-Highland to Inman Park. You can access a map of this route at Map My Run under my group Atlanta Running.

Virginia-Highland to Inman Park - 4 miles:

· Start at the corner of Virginia Ave and N. Highland Ave.
· Run down N. Highland Ave towards Ponce de Leon Ave.
· Cross Ponce and Freedom Parkway
· Turn left on Cleburn Ave.
· Turn left on Seminole Ave.
· Turn right on Sinclair Ave.
· Sinclair merges into Austin
· Turn left on Elizabeth Ave.
· Turn right on Euclid Ave.
· Turn left on Moreland Ave.
· Turn left on Mansfield Ave.
· Turn right on Seminole Ave.
· Turn right on Cleburn Ave.
· Turn right on N. Highland Ave End run at N. Highland and Virginia

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Safety Tips for Runner

Common sense and smart gear can help you stay safe while running outdoors. Here are a few safety tips I came across at and

Stay Alert.
Don't use headphones or other devices that distract you from your surroundings.

Carry Identification.
Take personal identification, emergency phone numbers, and a medical insurance card. Road I.D. offers wearable i.d. tags designed for athletes.

Run with a Partner.
There's safety in numbers. Join a running group or run with a dog. Most running stores in Atlanta host weekly group runs.

Wear Reflective Apparel.
Make sure that cars and cyclists can see you if you run in the morning or evening.

Bring Pepper Spray.
Protect yourself from stray dogs or attackers. Pepper spray is available in runner-friendly containers at most sporting-goods stores.

Carry a Cell Phone.
Make sure you can contact help if you're injured or lost during a run.

This week's featured running route is Oakhurst, which is a great neighborhood in Decatur. The route is also available at my group page Atlanta Running.

Oakhurst - 3.65 miles
  • Start at the Dairy Queen on E. Trinity in Decatur.
  • Cross over the railroad tracks and W. College Ave towards S. Candler St.
  • Stay on S. Candler St. and run past Agnes Scott College.
  • Turn right on E. Davis St.
  • Turn left on S. McDonough St.
  • At the traffic light, turn right on W. Hill St.
  • At Oakhurst Village, cross Oakview Rd. and turn right on E. Lake Dr.
  • Follow E. Lake through Oakhurst (run under the railroad tracks and College Ave.)
  • At the traffic light for Paden Circle, turn left and run uphill past the Marta parking lot.
  • Turn left on W. Howard Ave.
  • Follow W. Howard back to the Dairy Queen (the street merges into College Ave.)