It's been more than five years but I finally qualified for Time Group IA (10K time under 50 minutes) of the Peachtree 10K.
As always the race at hand seemed like an unlikely one to do it with, with its rolling-hill course. I mainly wanted to take it easy and run a good race. Last year when I ran the race, I had problems with leg tightening (that later manifested itself in The Weather Channel Atlanta Half-Marathon) but still felt good about the race.
This year, I shaved about 10 minutes off that time.
I had forgotten a lot about the course in a year, not realizing that it runs by the historic Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site before looping back on what is part of the ING Georgia half-marathon route.
I was ready for what I thought was a severe hill in between Courtland and Central Park but didn't know I was on pace to break 50 minutes until the 4th mile split. At the 5th mile split it seemed like it would be all but locked up but I didn't want to bonk out at the final mile. Fortunately two fast runners joined me on the I-20 overpass when we neared Turner Field. One dropped off but I ran pretty much with the other one to the end.
After running 50:25 in the Big Peach Sizzler 10K in October and being unable to kick because of a cold, I felt that I would eventually break the 50-minute mark to qualify for Time Group IA in February's Charles Harris 10K.
But now I can take it easy if I want to and focus on the ING Georgia Half-marathon in March.
Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: About 50 degrees
Gear: SST (Hawaii grey), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus/D4.