Sunday, August 21, 2011

Atlanta Fall Races are Just Around the Corner

Believe it or not, Labor Day is only weeks away. And with fall comes the promise of cooler weather. There are plenty of road races scheduled for the fall running season. Here are a few to check out.

Big Peach Sizzler 10K – Labor Day (September 5)
While Peachtree Road in Buckhead is usually crowded with cars, runners get to own the street during this race. It kicks off at the Chamblee MARTA station and ends at the Buckhead Station Shopping Center. And you can get a head start on your Peachtree Road Race qualifying time. Proceeds from the event support research and families affected by Cystic Fibrosis. Register online or at Big Peach locations.

Avondale Estates Labor Day 5K – September 5
Avondale Estates is one of my favorite neighborhoods to run through. Wide streets, rolling hills and charming homes. With a 9:00 a.m. start, runners get a chance to sleep in a bit before hitting the streets. The event benefits the ALS Association, an illness better know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Register online or at the Avondale Estates City Hall.

Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk – September 8
Join your co-workers and compete for the title of “Most Fit Company” in Atlanta. Turner Field plays host to the race. More than 15,000 participants are expected – fortunately, walkers will line up behind runners and will be advised to stay to the right of the race course. Participants are encouraged to support the Atlanta Community Food Bank by bringing canned food. More information is available at the event site.

Legal Run Around 5K – September 10
Who knew lawyers had a sense of humor? The Atlanta Bar Association hosts this annual run in Piedmont Park. Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund of children of Atlanta police officers killed or severally injured in the line of duty. Not up for the 8:30 a.m. start time? Support the event as a phantom runner. Registration and details available at

FirEdUp! 5K – September 17
Virginia-Highlands is a great running neighborhood. And the residents have a strong commitment to serve community needs. This race functions as a scholarship fundraiser for college-bound seniors at Grady and Washington High Schools. The 8:30 a.m. start kicks off outside Atlanta Fire Station 19, located at the corner of Highland and Los Angeles. As an added bonus, runners get hosed down by a fire truck on the course. Registration available at the Phidippidies Ansley Mall, Fire Station 19 or online at

This week's running route:
Looking for a shady neighborhood course? Check out the race route for the Avondale Estates Labor Day 5K.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Georgia’s Running Man

Last Thursday, the AJC featured a story from Macon about Thad Childs, a man who has not missed a day of running in the past 32 years. That calculates to more than 11,800 days and over 87,000 miles. Thad’s dedication to running has taken him to the Boston Marathon and beyond - including a 100-mile race that runs through the Sierra Nevada.

Runners are known for their devotion to the sport. Rain or snow … morning or night … we hit the road to get our fix of fitness and endorphins. Running not only makes you physically feel better, it’s also a cheap form of therapy. Whenever I feel mentally restless or frustrated, a good run helps ease my mind and gain a refreshed perspective. Thad takes that same approach … combining the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of running to help bring harmony in his life.

This summer’s unrelenting mix of heat and humidity has made it tempting for me to skip my outdoor runs. Yes, I could try the treadmill but I’d much rather deal with Mother Nature than the monotony of running indoors.

So fellow runners, what gets you out the door? Is it the drive to keep up a streak like Thad’s? A desire to maintain (or build) your fitness level? Or something else?