Pint-sized leprechauns, shamrocks, lucky charms and pots of gold as far as the eye can see…o.k., so I can’t promise you pots of gold or pint-sized leprechauns however, you’re sure to have a blast following the céilí dances of Irish dancers, as they rev up the crowd at the start line of the 7th annual Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon.
More than 16,000 runners are expected to fill Centennial Olympic Park and the streets of Atlanta in what will be the best Georgia Marathon yet!
Both the marathon and half marathon will head out on Marietta Street towards Georgia State University, enjoying nearly 2.5 miles of speedy, downhill running. Crossing over the Jackson Bridge, you’ll enjoy a fabulous skyline view of the ATL.
The King house is around mile 3.5, a well-known historical site and perfect photo-op area. Runners then pass through the fourth ward and eclectic Little Five Points before coming upon the Carter Center.
Once runners hit the Ponce-Highland Neighborhood, the marathoners will split off and continue to enjoy key landmarks like Candler Park, Agnes Scott College, Emory University, and the Druid Hills neighborhood featuring the house highlighted in Driving Miss Daisy.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are plenty of rolling hills throughout the course. After all Atlanta is known for “Heat, Hills and Humidity.” Still, the “biggest” hill runners will encounter is at the 9.5 mile marker (lasting approximately a mile) for marathoners and mile 9ish (lasting approximately 1.25 miles or so) for half marathoners. …think long and steady, not short and steep. This is where the tortoise will catch the hare.
Both courses are routed back to Marietta Street towards the Finish, where crowds of well-wishers and cheers of encouragement propel runners across the finish line.
With Hard Rock Café as the official entertainment sponsor of the Publix Georgia Marathon, get ready to enjoy the acoustics and serenades of multiple bands throughout the course. Prior to the start, enjoy the Bluegrass sounds of Jordan Grassi & Band performing live at Centennial Park stage. Once you cross the finish line, get ready to jam to a different tune and rock it out to live music provided by the Hard Rock Café at the Finish Line Festival.
2013 brings with it the addition of seven food stations, offering a variety of bite-sized goodies, including orange slices, bananas, jelly beans, m&m’s, pretzels with peanut-butter filling and cookies, sure to please any runner!
And get this…19, that’s right, NINETEEN hydration stations, complete with Crystal water and Powerade serve to quench the thirst of over 16,000 runners. Stations are evenly spaced at the following locations: shortly before mile 2, near mile 4, near mile 5.5, and slightly before mile 7. The station at mile 7 also offers GU energy gels, a personal fav I always keep in my running arsenal, for both half and also full marathoners.
At this point, the course splits, but don’t fret. Hydration stations are never more than two miles apart for either course. Race organizers have taken serious time in orchestrating the location of all nineteen hydration stations and the addition of the newly added, seven food stations.
If you haven’t had a chance to register for the 2013 Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon, there’s still time! …AND through March 12th, you can use code BLOG10OFF13 to take $10 off either the marathon or half marathon registration fee!
Looking forward to seeing you all there, and keep on runnin’ happy.