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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Publix Georgia Marathon Race Review

I ran the Publix Georgia Marathon for free because I won an entry! 
The race: There is a half, a full, and a 5k the day before geared towards kids. It's a hot and hilly race since it's in Atlanta and it's mid-March. 

Start of the race
About 15,000 people ran the half and full combined.
Registration and cost: Lucky me, I didn't pay, but this is a more pricey race. Early registration for the full is $95. Registration can be done online or at the expo the day before. 

Swag: You get one of those race bags no one ever uses again, a shirt with different cuts for guys and gals (unless you're me and just wear the guys'), and lots of samples at the expo. Publix grocery hosts the race, so there is plenty of food at the expo, and there were samples of Luna bars and granola bars, Chobani yogurt, and sports drinks at the expo.
Course: It's all hills. There is not a flat tenth of a mile. 
It's also a really pretty course. You circle Atlanta and see many sites, plus two parks, two college campuses, and some ritzy neighborhoods. My favorite part was the section in Decatur. The town had a ton of poems posted on signs, all of which ended in "Decatur!" Most were about running or spending your money in Decatur. Loved it! I was laughing the whole way.
I don't love that the course ends uphill, but really, the whole course is challenging. Enjoyable but hard work. 
Climbing HILLS, all I did all day.
I did not like that there was no water at the start of the race! 
Post race: Finishers get a cute tote with chocolate milk, a banana, pretzels, MnMs, and cookies after the race. No beer. What kind of race is this?! The awards ceremony was running very late, so we didn't stay.
Etc - Start time is 7:00, which helps with the heat a little. There is a really interesting elite program that encourages runners from the South to compete, which you can read about here. Runners who want to be in the first corral must be elites; second corral, must be seeded and give proof of finishing time. I really liked this as there was no corral drama, crowding, walkers in front of you, etc. 
This is a pretty race and kind of a perfect size: At about 15,000 runners, it's big enough to have all the amenities (I doubt a tiny race could have scrambled to get cold towels for finishers at the last minute, which by the way was a nice touch), but not as big as some monster RnR races that have you waiting in your corral for an hour. Overall I recommend it. In fact, since we have friends in Atlanta I can see myself running it again! 


  1. Yikes! Look at that elevation chart!! Sounds like the right size marathon too. Not too big or too small... :-)

  2. Hi Gracie! Thanks for your comment on my blog. I actually have had yours up all day to comment on. I have followed you for a while and am inspired by your speed. :) I also saw in your bio that you work in the HIV division. I work as an advocate for HIV+ orphans and have two kids who are HIV+. I'd love to meet up with you at a race. :)