With a 7am start and hour long drive, it was quite an early wake up. The race advised runners to arrive as close the parking deck opening at 6am as possible. We arrived just a few minutes after 6, got parked, met up with Jennifer and Brendan and headed over to the race area.
We were not able to make it to the early packet pickup on Saturday, so we had to pick up our bibs on race morning. The line was very short for the half marathon bibs, but was quite longer for the 5K. After getting our bibs, we headed over to the porto-potties. Just after we got out of the bathroom, an announcement was made that the 5K and half marathon would now be starting together at 7:15. Originally, the half marathon was supposed to start at 7am with the 5K following 15 minutes later. I didn't catch what the reason was, but typically it is either because there was a lot of traffic getting bibs or road closures were running behind. Either way, it is what it is.
Long story short though, from mile 8ish on reminded me a lot of the Craft Classic 1/2 Marathon course including a nice run along Freedom Parkway and the Atlanta Beltline in the final few miles. The 2 miles or so on the Beltline were quite lovely. The Beltline is always a pretty cool place to run as it is full of quaint and funky businesses, residential areas, and art along the way. Oh yea, it is also FLAT. Thanks to me running really hard and pushing myself in the first 10 miles, my legs were feeling trashed by this point though. I think it was from running the hills for all those miles then running so much flat that my legs just didn't adapt very well. I kept on pushing though and I was determined that I was finishing strong and NOT losing a mental battle in these last miles.
I would lying if I said that this awesome medal wasn't a factor in me deciding that I wanted to do this race - which I didn't know how big it was until race day. How can you not want this medal?!?! The 5K got the same medal design, just a smaller version. Seriously though, this race knows how to do medals!
I really think that I enjoyed the new course this year for the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon. While I think it was slightly hillier at times, the course was super scenic which makes the miles go by faster. A huge thank you to the volunteers, staff, and emergency personnel who made this morning so awesome.