November 9, 2005
The Atlanta Half-Marathon is a yearly Thanksgiving morning tradition for me. I have been running it since 1986, the year before I ran the full marathon. Until 1994 (?), the course was flat to rolling, with no large hills. The course was point-to-point. The full marathon began in Lithonia, GA, and ended at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. The half picked up the course in Clarkston, GA, and joined the full into Piedmont Park. This course was manageable. The present course is a death march. The course was changed by the Atlanta Track Club to present Atlanta landmarks and downtown to the Olympics.
The hills are brutal. I don't see how anyone can finish the full marathon. Although I feel very good after the end, I wish the ATC would get rid of their fixation with the Olympics and re-route the race to a more manageable and kindly course. The half course begins at Chamblee-Tucker Rd and Peachtree-Industrial Blvd. I personally find the most convenient arrangement to park at the destination (Turner Stadium parking lot) and then take MARTA to the start. If you do park there, you only need to follow the crowd to the station. I am exhausted at the end of the course, so I don't feel like making the mile-long trek to the station, and waiting for the trains to get back to a MARTA parking lot, but that's just me. What I like about this event is not feeling guilty about eating a full Thanksgiving dinner after the race, since in the morning I have run a 13.2-mile race, however brutal the race may be.
Link to Atlanta Half-Marathon page: http://www.atlantatrackclub.org/at03000.htm
From journal Atlanta Half-Marathon