Jus’ Peachy! ING Georgia Half Marathon.

So, it’s been a couple weeks since my last posting and I’ve managed to push a half marathon in Atlanta then jet directly to San Fran for a week of work (culminating in the always enjoyable Red Eye flight home – BTW, thanks, ATA, for going bankrupt while I was there so every pissed off, stranded traveler who was supposed to go San Fran to Hawaii on your crappy airline had his/her flights cancelled and then had to head back east on MY USAir flight resulting in a “first time ever” Red Eye for me that I did NOT have an entire row to myself). But I digress. Marin is cool. It was worth it.

Anyhoo…a half marathon just a few weeks before Boston? Yep. Columbus figured the world wasn’t flat and I’ll add NEITHER IS ATLANTA! I knew it before I entered…just wanted to test my new racer before taking it to “Bahston” for THE marathon and thought the race might be a good hill workout for yours truly. It was. It sucked. The potholes, rain, wind and broken glass ALL OVER downtown ATL – added bonuses – made the race feel JUST LIKE BOSTON. I’m glad I went.

1. Seems a tornado touched down in downtown Atlanta the week before the marathon and popped all sorts of glass windows out of skyscrapers. The glass proceeded to shatter all over the roads. No fun even a week later. I’d hate to be a shoeless, homeless guy in that city right about now. Also, I heard that of the 50 or so wheelchairs, about 12 of them got flats before the race even started (on their way to the starting line) and a few more flatted after the race started. Good thing I got lost between the hotel and the starting line and took a different (read “less glassy”) route. Less competition. I still finished out of the money.
2. I suffered on the hills in my current seating position. It was better to learn this in a warm-up race then in Boston. Let’s hope the seating mods I make are the right ones. It’s the little things, right?
3. Emory Rehab was the wc division sponsor and kudos to them on a great bike escort, putting us up at the Hyatt and great hospitality and support. Much appreciated.

1. Wet roads + cold temps = slick racing. Case in point…mile 6-ish…I hit my brakes at the top of the hill near the Carter Center and didn’t stop skidding until 100 yards later when I needed to make a 90 degree right turn on a downhill. Lesson? Chair handling and stopping the new racer is different than the old one. Whoa. The fans straight in front of me sure where scared (and happy to see me make the turn). I don’t blame them.
2. Whoever laid out the new, modified finish should have their head checked. Sweep up the glass, don’t change the course. 20,000 people had to run up a curb cut and along a sidewalk before negotiating a “mouse finds the cheese” maze to the finish line. Forget the runner congestion, it wasn’t fun in a chair. Looking at the bright side, I suppose I now know how my chair turns in tight quarters.

I’m shipping up to Boston…

Be well.