After four days of rain in Atlanta, runners were grateful to have dry skies for the third annual ING Georgia Marathon and Half-Marathon. The morning was cold and windy and it wasn’t much better as the day progressed. Despite the winter-like temperatures, the course was fun and the spectators were rowdy. Located near three MARTA stations, Centennial Park was a convenient spot to host the race start and finish. I was glad to run the first five miles with my friend Kelly. Since we’re both busy moms, it provided a perfect opportunity to catch up. Unfortunately for Kelly, she was suffering from a knee injury and had to exit the race at Inman Park. Although I missed by goal finish time by 2 minutes, I was still pleased with my results. I completed the race in 2:01:40 – nearly 15 minutes faster than my race time two years ago. My energy level was strong until the last mile, but by that point I quickened my pace through sheer determination to reach a respectable finish time.
I ran the half-marathon with Team Tiara to support Girls on the Run (GOTR) Atlanta. Through its running programs, GOTR fosters self-confidence and a healthy lifestyle among girls aged 8 to 13. Programs are offered at local schools, YMCAs, and Girls, Inc. sites. Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, I raised $283 for GOTR Atlanta. My commitment to support GOTR added a meaningful aspect to the race for me. It gave me an opportunity to meet other local women runners and help an organization that provides a valued program to our community.
This week’s route is the ING Georgia Marathon and Half-Marathon course. It travels through some of the best Atlanta neighborhoods – Inman Park, Sweet Auburn, Decatur, Druid Hills, Virginia-Highlands and Midtown. You’ll find a map for the route at the ING Georgia site.