The race starts and ends in Riverside Park in Roswell which is a great park with playgrounds, picnic tables, and plenty of parking (overflow parking is available down the road with shuttles to/from the race). While we arrived early to get parked and settle before the race. Most of the main lot was already full (mostly with families and gatherings happening in the park), however the overflow lot was pretty empty.
Around mile 8 was when things went downhill for us. During the first year of Area 13.1 they had ran out of water at water stations along the way which is very dangerous. After receiving the feedback about the water situation from the runners, they vowed to resolve the issue for 2013. The past two years have been very much on point with water and sports drink on course. Well, when we approached the mile 8 water station, the water station was completely broken down and abandoned. We went about 3 miles without water. Shortly before the next water station, a golf cart went by with volunteers more or less throwing bottles of water at the runners. Mind you, it is dark so you can imagine how well the catching of the water went. Anyways, by the time Becky and I got to the cart, they had driven off. Fortunately, there was a water station just ahead and we both had a little bit of fluids left in our carry bottles.
Yes, we had some tears and near total meltdowns. How could you not though? It is is 90+ degrees, it is dark, and the course support is gone. We had both ran Area 13.1 last year and knew what to expect, but the whole lack of water thing really got us. We were beyond thankful to have had our friends Chris and Michael to run part of the way with.
This was a tough race for sure. We knew the heat/humidity issues weren't just us when we saw some of our faster friends heading back to the finish line at a slower pace than we are used to seeing. We saw a fellow runner go down with cramps, another runner at the finish that was having an IV started, and one of the pacers in a friend's pace group collapsed at mile 11. This heat is no joke friends - please make sure you hydrate well (even carry you own fluids at races) and slow down if needed.