After running this course twice before I knew what was ahead of me on the 6.2 mile journey to the finish line. Mind you, Atlanta race courses are typically packed full of rolling hills (unless you can get lucky with a very carefully designed course). Like I said earlier, this is probably one of the hardest 10K courses that I run all year. With a 2/3 mile uphill at mile 2 followed by a steep 1/2 mile climb at mile 4. Fortunately, I knew where I needed to conserve a bit of energy and where I could let go a bit more. The course support was great along the way - there were a lot of volunteers and police officers along the way to help direct traffic and runners along the way. My only gripe would be that there was only one water station which was just pass the mile 4 marker - it would be great to see another water station around mile 1.5 or 2 in the future.
My goal going into the race was to run my 2nd fastest 10K. My 10K PR is on an amazingly fast course with a very generous downhill stretch in the last mile, so I figured if I could beat my 2nd fastest 10K (which is about 4 minutes slower than my PR) I would be a happy little runner. I maintained a fairly even pace through the first 5 miles and as I hit mile 5 I did a quick bit of runner's math and knew that I was probably going to be right between my two fastest 10Ks with being off of my PR about 2 minutes. Well, my math a tiny bit off and I crushed mile 6 and as I made the final turn less than .1 mile away from the finish line I knew my PR was in sight. WHAAAAA?!?!