My kiddo has just as much fun as I do running races, so when our out of town plans didn’t work out, signing her up for the 1/2K at the Peachtree Junior seemed like a great way to enjoy being in town. Early number pickup was at the Atlanta Track Club office and was a quick process considering a lot of people in my range of the alphabet showed up at the same time. I felt bad for the one volunteer who was desperate to help us out.
Race day started out early as I hoped to get down to check out the kids friendly decathlon before and after the 1/2k. After a bit of time finding some free parking in the neighborhood near Piedmont Park, we started the walk over to the park. At least I was feeling good about being there about an hour ahead of time, but I can’t say it was the same for every family as we were passed by a family with a 3k runner trying to make the earlier start time. When we made it inside the park, the first decathalon event we saw was the hurdles. They had small ones set up for the little ones and I think this was my girl’s favorite event as we went there multiple times. Unfortunately for the kiddo, I over hydrated and had to find the porta potties dragging her past other events. Let me tell you it’s not fun to drag an excited five year old past things she wants to try.
After that, we had to balance out time to do stuff and time to get to the 1/2k start. We were able to squeeze in the long jump (I was conned into doing this, too), high-jump (throw the kid up and over), discus, and the javelin before realizing there was time for the 40 yard dash. The volunteers were great at explaining the event and how to complete the event to the kids, and just when we got the 40 yard dash explanation, some other little girls showed up and so did the special guest of the day, Dan O’Brien. The 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the decathalon Dan O’Brien. And my kid freaked out and refused to run with him. Only my kid would turn down a chance to run with an Olympic gold medalist! I conned her into running with the girls by saying I’d run with her, but stayed behind at the start.
We then headed to the crazy start area for the 1/2k where I finally parted with C so she could run all on her own. I went to grab a spot along the start area for pictures and patiently waited while the age groups went oldest to youngest. When the time came, I couldn’t help but say “awwww” about my sweet, friendly girl as she was holding hands with a new friend at the start line. Soon she was off and I was sprinting the shorter route across the active oval so I could see her finish. The finish area was a bit crazy as the 50m dash staging area was there as well, but we were reunited, I took a medal picture and she copied me, and then it was time for three remaining decathalon events. The shuttle relay was fun for her since she ran it with other kids as a team. She had so much fun, she ran it twice. We then both did the standing broad jump and she got to do the shot put as well.
The last thing to cross off our list was getting an autograph from Dan O’Brien. C chickened out and hid, and he said if he was Mickey Mouse that wouldn’t have happened. So true. On the way out we ran the hurdles again and I realized I am old and not flexible as I managed to knock my hip out of alignment. All in all, it was a fun day and I’m so thankful for the Atlanta Track Club putting on such great events. I highly recommend this one as we both had so much fun and watching all the kids get excited about track and field events makes you feel good about the future.
Our next race is another combo event, the Braves Country 5k. I’ll run the 5k while she runs the dash. All 5k and mile (open to ages 7+) finish on Turner Field, which will be the last time this race finishes at Turner Field. So if you are looking to get in the field before it’s no longer the Braves home, your chance is June 11!