My Profile

@mcallaway

Smyrna, GA Raving since 2019 Active 2 years, 8 months ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • I run because:

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Fort Oglethorpe, GA Nov 10, 2018 3:53:00

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (6)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 7, 2021
Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Oct 16, 2021 3:57:30
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 3, 2019 3:58:10
Marathon Fort Oglethorpe, GA Nov 10, 2018 3:53:00
10K Atlanta, GA Jul 4, 2018
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 6, 2016 4:25:52

My Raves

Living in Atlanta, I look for flat races in cooler temps as a reward for a summer of hills, heat, and humidity. Moved on down to Atlantic City after New … MORE

Living in Atlanta, I look for flat races in cooler temps as a reward for a summer of hills, heat, and humidity. Moved on down to Atlantic City after New Jersey covid-cancelled. This was my first and probably last trip to Atlantic City. Plenty of casinos to stay at, but this seems to be a local (NJ/NY area) race people drive in for.
After reading reviews and talking to others, I decided to fly into Philly Friday and stayed downtown Friday night. Great city. Caught a ride to Atlantic City Saturday and made it to the expo around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. In 2021, the “expo” was just a bib pick up line. A very long bib pick up line. I don’t know why they’d only have 2 people handing out bibs and a few more handing out race shirts, but the wait was 45 minutes and the line was even longer once I got through. They appeared unprepared. Some people got items in their bags such as beach towels…all I got were flyers.
Race morning, there are no corrals. Just a huge mass of people crowding the start. The 3:30, 3:40, 3:45, 3:50, 3:55 pacers could have all reached out and touched each other at the start. There’s no reason to not spread out a little. This was frustrating. Especially after it was advertised that people would be forced to be somewhat socially distanced, and that masks were expected/required. I saw maybe 2 other people out of 2,000 in a mask, and we were all squeezed in like sardines at the start.
Once the running began, things improved considerably. The course is very fair. It it not completely flat, as there are a handful of freeway ups and downs in the first 7-8 miles. Nothing too challenging, but only the final 18 miles are completely flat. The aid stations were well stocked with water and Gatorade. I carry my own gels but I saw a few tables along the way providing fuel too. The volunteers at the aid stations did a great job as cheering sections as well, because there wasn’t a lot of natural crowd support.
Unfortunately in 2021 the weather didn’t work out for me. It became sneaky warm throughout the morning. Along the final 8 miles, I saw several runners down with EMTs presumably due to heat. But the wind was a deal breaker. It was exhausting virtually the entire way, no matter the direction we ran. It was so bad it literally blew me off the road a few times.
A note on the boardwalk. There is a lot of boardwalk running. It’s unusual if you’re not used to it, and likely takes some mental energy to navigate. Boards are uneven, bouncy, bolts stick up, it’s uneven in places…just another challenge.
The 3:40 pace team was relatively large (~25) and stuck together rather well through 18 miles, but that’s when my body failed. I mailed it in the final 8 miles and managed to finish in just under 4 hours. But looking at finish times and race photos, just a few runners in from that 3:40 group met their goal. Most ran 3:50-4:05.
The finish experience was disappointing. Even though I came in under 4 hours, there were no fluids left other than water. Powerade had already run out. I don’t understand how that happens. Thankfully, my hotel room was a few steps away from the finish and I had cold drinks and snacks waiting for me there. The Johnny Rockets milkshake from the boardwalk hit the spot later that afternoon.
Swag: The medal is neat as the lighthouse light flashes via a battery in the back of it. The pullover is ok. It’s not the nicest material and has a weird fit. The large fit me like a large on the body and shoulders, but the long sleeves are close to 3/4 length…oh well!
It was a disappointing result for me, but I do know a number of runners PRd/BQd, and I just had a bad day. I’m disappointed I didn’t get to run the NJM. Also disappointed the NJM folks were nowhere to be seen at this race, as they had said they would be there with swag for us transferred runners.
If you like to gamble, give this race a shot. The Bally’s sportsbook was a fun place to spend Saturday resting before the race and Sunday resting afterward. But the casinos, especially Caesers where I stayed, were kind of sad, kind of old and run down, and full of old people pumping the nickel slots…just not for me.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

This is the exact opposite of a big city major marathon experience, and I absolutely loved it. I stayed in a nice downtown Chattanooga hotel at a very affordable rate, … MORE

This is the exact opposite of a big city major marathon experience, and I absolutely loved it. I stayed in a nice downtown Chattanooga hotel at a very affordable rate, and in under 20 minutes was parked, incredibly, less than 150 yards from both the start and finish lines. No need for a bag check! 1,100 at the start self-corralled with no issues (~300 Marathoners and 800+ Half’ers). The weather in 2018 was perfect for me, blue skies and temps in the hi 30s at the start and pushing 50 toward mid-day…a just reward for training in the heat of a Georgia summer.

Pros
– Double loop course through the beautiful Chickamauga Military Park. Mainly flat with a few sections of rolling hills. I appreciated knowing what was coming the second time around as I had a goal time in mind.
– Course is very fair, with nothing too challenging, but I prefer rolling hills to the monotony of flat pavement. All small 2-lane national park asphalt, open to traffic, but I can’t remember more than a handful of cars passing by during the entire 26.2.
– Well supported with aid stations and enthusiastic volunteers. Water and Powerade every 2 miles plus occasional fruit/gels.
– Quick and easy bib pick up in small expo environment. Pasta dinner available but I didn’t participate.
– Family friendly start/finish area, 5k and kids run occur during Marathon, shuttle available for spectators to several viewing points throughout course
Cons
– Advertised as having eight pacing teams from 3:15 to 5:00. I looked everywhere for the 4:00 at the start and only saw the 4:15 pacer. He didn’t know where anyone else was. I never saw any other pacer the entire day.
– The course crosses a railroad track (2x because 2 loops). I heard a train whistle at one point, and understand that some marathoners were blocked by a train for some period of time. If that had happened to me, I’d have been livid.

Even still, I can’t wait to do this one again. If you don’t like running alone for periods of time, this probably isn’t for you. But if you like small community races that are produced just as well, if not better than major events, I highly recommend the Chickamauga Battlefield marathon. It’s 20 minutes from Chattanooga and ~2 hours from downtown Atlanta, so you could make a long weekend out of it really easily.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is an event, not a race...it's a great Atlanta and American tradition. You're never going to run a Personal Best on July 4 in Atlanta, so soak in the … MORE

This is an event, not a race…it’s a great Atlanta and American tradition. You’re never going to run a Personal Best on July 4 in Atlanta, so soak in the heat, humidity, hills, and fun atmosphere!
2018 was my 27th straight Peachtree. Thankfully, not a lot has changed through the decades other than the starting process. Currently, there are 22 start waves that begin over the course of almost two hours. This allows the large field to arrive and start in small increments. The staging area at the start is not nearly as crowded as it used to be, and the course is rarely as crowded in person as it appears from overhead photos.
If you do want to run fast, submit a qualifying time at registration to ensure a placement in Wave A, or as close to the front as you can get. In 2018, the Wave A standard was 45:47 and a sub-60 minute 10K or equivalent was good enough to place you in Wave E, starting a full hour ahead of those who did not submit a time whatsoever (Waves R-Y). Any submitted time will be placed ahead of those who do not submit a time at all, so you risk getting stuck behind all the walkers who submitted times and thus were put in the middle waves.
The wheelchair racers and the elite women have separate early starts. The elite men go off with Wave A at 7:00am. The final wave doesn’t start until 9:20am. The temperature difference is usually substantial, so take care to hydrate throughout, and enjoy the fun run.

Course description: The first half of the course is downhill and fast, followed by the legendary “cardiac hill” in mile 4, which is rather steep but relatively short. A highly underrated and overlooked incline lasts most of mile 5, before a level/downhill final mile kick on 10th Street takes you home to the meadow in Piedmont Park. Ice cold towels are a hit at the finish. There are fresh peaches, but in general post race food options are rather slim. Coca-Cola/Powerade products are available on 10th Street. There’s not a huge post-race crowd despite the race’s size. They stopped having a live band at the finish stage a few years ago, and now most people leave quickly, which is a shame because the awards ceremony is always a who’s who of American 10K talent.

Bottom line: I’ve raced from Wave A and walked with friends / family from the back. There’s no wrong way to do it. You’ll experience Atlanta’s heat, hills, and humidity, and Atlanta Track Club’s world-class race production. And yes, you’ll get that coveted Peachtree T-shirt.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

It's New York. It's the biggest marathon in the world. In retrospect, probably not the best for my first marathon, but I can't wait to try it again one day. … MORE

It’s New York. It’s the biggest marathon in the world. In retrospect, probably not the best for my first marathon, but I can’t wait to try it again one day.
Getting to the starting line was half the battle. Walk to subway. Subway to ferry. Ferry to bus. Stand in line for an hour at ferry terminal waiting for a bus. Bus to starting village. Find the right corral. By the time I got to the starting line at 10:15am, I had been up and moving for 5+ hours…not a very relaxing pre-race experience. I’d pay for an elite pre-race experience next time.
The race itself is pretty magical. The adrenaline from a million people along every ince of the 26.2 mile course is amazing. Despite the size, the course is well supported with aid stations, etc…as one would expect from the NYRR and a world class event. The SWAG is great. You’ll spend a lot of $ at the expo or the tent in Central Park on additional SWAG. The medal and overcoat are great. The 27th mile walk out of Central Park after the finish is killer.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?