Field: 49 total raging, running hooligans
Spectators: Um, not too many intentional spectators. There were however many confused commuters, motorists, walkers, and other jolly pedestrians wondering what the hell we were doing barrelling down the side walk at top speed with bibs on. Needless to say, we got lots of cheers in the form of honking, waving out windows, and yells from passing cars.
Start/Finish: Start at Lenox Mall, Finish at Piedmont Park
Course: Same as that big race on the 4th, but with traffic and pedestrians for an added challenge (i.e it ain't a closed course by any means and you best watch out for red lights and turning vehicles).
Schwag: Optional t-shirt. Registration is only $5, but if you want a shirt, it's $25. ALL proceeds (I mean every penny) goes to the National Hospice Foundation in the memory of one of the participant's late wives (Side note: I also ran last year's 26.2 with DONNA in her honor). As a bonus, if you wear your Rage shirt in the big old 4th race, you get a bonus prize.
Other: All finishers get a craft beer (no crappy swill) and a peach. The winner gets a beer and a homemade peach pie, and the winning lady got a skateboard with built-in bottle opener. DFL got a metal big foot lunchbox filled with several craft brews. This is high stakes racing with a dash of frogger thrown in.
Nothing like being on the news while drinking beer in a public park. My mother is proud.To get a true feel of what the race is like, one needs to look no further than the website and race emails:
Caution They go together like peanut butter and chocolate; Siskel and Ebert; Oreo filling and those crumbly things that are useful for holding the delicious Oreo filling until you throw them in the trash where they belong. We remind you that this is not a closed course, but open to traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian. Take no chances: you're racing for personal achievement, peaches and beer, gang. This is a counterpoint to some other race around the same time, and your rebellious, rowdy spirit (and wholeness of body) is what matters most. Go get 'em, you hell-raisers.
Our fearless leader/race director, Kyle, letting the news lady know what's up while modelling the rage shirt. source
So at 7:30pm on the 3rd, a gang of 49 spirited runners lined up outside the Westin in Buckhead, and once the Race Director Kyle successfully got the finish line on speaker phone and lined us up mullet style (business in the front, party in the back), he shouted go. The course is identical to the Road Race course, with just the added challenge of traffic. More than once I found myself turning up the speed a bit to make a light or easing into a corner as it turned red. It definitely added something new to racing as some people would bomb through intersections with seconds to spare while others played it more conservatively.
Per my usual, I had no plans for the race, but decided to see how I felt once on the course. The Jayhawk, who I was pacing on the same course a mere 12 hours later, requested that I not burn myself out (or drink too many celebratory beers at the finish), but coming off a week of training, I had no dreams that I would have much bounce in my legs. I pushed a bit on the downhills and tried to stay steady on the uphills, never really taxing myself too much, but still making sure I got in a workout. There was a rumor of a water stop on the course (jugs by a stop sign), but someone stole them before we all got to that part of the course. Guess they were raging too.
The field post race race enjoying some brew under the skyline. (source)
I arrived at the finish line in about 51 minutes (I had a garmin fail on the course, so I asked the man behind me what he had for a time). We sipped our beers (I went with a local Red Hare Lager), chatted, and waited for the all important DFL to roll in, which it turns out it was contested (Check out Miranda's recap). The awards came with a lovely cooler podium and as Kyle lined up the ladies, I learned that I snuck into 3rd some how! Always fun to learn you are a good rager.
Ladies' podium. (Source)
The weather was great, so I hung out for another beer and long enough to learn that any rager who wore their Rage shirt in the race the following day would get a special surprise. There is nothing I love more than a challenge with a surprise, so that was an easy decision.
Overall, I love the rage. It's basically a group of friends using a classic Atlanta event as an excuse to get together, run, drink a beer, and do something good for charity. Can't wait to run it again!
Do you like non-traditional races? Do you rage?