2015 marked the second year running for the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon in Atlanta. We are so lucky to have Jeff Galloway here in Atlanta and he has truly brought the joy of injury-free running to all ages. It’s only fitting that his own race be held in his hometown.
The JG13.1 course is truly a tour of Atlanta historic sights and beautiful Midtown Atlanta. It’s a point to point course that has sky rise buildings as a backdrop in the beginning and ends in beautiful Piedmont Park. Like any Atlanta half marathon, it’s a very hilly race. Fortunately, there’s a forgiving flat part in the middle of the race (along the Atlanta Beltline) that gives runner’s legs a welcomed break from the hills. The weather was also in our favor. For December, it was mild 60 degrees with no wind. It was a great morning to run JG 13.1.
A unique highlight of the race are the pace group teams that follow Jeff Galloway’s prescribed intervals. With two leaders per group, there was major support offered all throughout the race. I fell back with the 2:45 pace team (2:30 intervals) and their energy carried me to the finish line. You could definitely feel the bond between the runners in our group. Many runners finished with PR’s, regardless of the hills, because they had the support of the pace groups. It’s a great way to experience the race and get a taste of Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run program. I highly recommend joining a pace group for this race.
For me, it was a tough race. I haven’t been practicing hills or speed, thanks for marathon training, so it quickly became about finishing the race strong rather than a PR. Mile 9 was particularly slow for me and you can hear the finish line, but you aren’t close at all. It’s an awful tease, but a sweet taste of what’s soon to come. When I was deep in a sluggish struggle though, I looked up and saw the building where my husband and I got married. I smiled and kept pushing on to the finish line!
Phiddipides Atlanta, our local running store started by Jeff himself, had a huge presence at the end to cheer runners to the finish. It was full of music, high-fives and encouragement. At the finish line, Jeff Galloway is available for photos and runner’s names are announced as they finish. I definitely felt an incredible sense of accomplishment at the end of the race by all of the runners, more so than other races I’ve completed. I heard the PR bell ring, saw runners smiling for photos and enjoying the post-race atmosphere.
Now for the race logistics…
The medal has the Atlanta skyline on it and has a nice weight to it. The race was very well organized with plenty of water stops and Accelorade offered every few miles. There were volunteers and medics along the course for support as well as portable bathrooms. Snack recovery packs and bottled water were offered at the finish line too. An especially nice touch was the recovery jackets given to runners with the JG 13.1 logo on the back.
The JG 13.1 race is a cut above the rest of our local Atlanta races with a lot of attention to detail. The pace teams, scenic course and finish line goodies will keep runners coming back year after year. In the future, I hope they add a “challenge” medal for runners who complete Barb’s 5k Race and the half marathon. I think both races compliment each other well for a great weekend of Atlanta running.
Sign up now for JG 13.1 2016:
REGISTER NOW FOR 2016!
Thank You Super Saver 13.1
Registration Price- $49.00
Register by January 9th, 2016
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