Overall Rating
Overall Rating (21 Reviews)
3.6
(21 Ratings)  (21 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
3.2
PRODUCTION
3.9
SWAG
3.4
Celebrate the best of Atlanta with the Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K. Both the half and full marathons take you past some of Atlanta’s most important monuments, stadiums, college campuses and neighborhoods. Publix Atlanta Marathon Weekend has something for the entire family and will show participants from near … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I chose this race for Georgia mostly because I enjoy visiting Atlanta and this is a nice time to travel there. I signed up very early and registration was super … MORE

    I chose this race for Georgia mostly because I enjoy visiting Atlanta and this is a nice time to travel there. I signed up very early and registration was super cheap at $50 for the half. It progressively gets more expensive but it is on the cheaper side for a big city marathon. This does come at a price though while I would still say this was a good to very good race, it was missing some of the perks of other big city races I have done. There is good pre-race communication and they email an athlete guide with all the info about 2 weeks before the race. I stayed at the Omni hotel at the CNN center at Centennial Olympic Park. It was a little more than I usually pay for hotel rooms but super convenient as it was right at the start/finish line. There are also plenty of cheaper hotel options within a mile of the start. This is a great race for a trip if you don’t want to rent a car as there are a ton of museums and sports arenas and other things to do by the race start. We were able to walk to the Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Civil Rights Center and an NBA and MLS game on our 3 days trip. You could easily spend 4 or 5 days just doing things within a mile or so of the race start. I did not rent a car for this trip because of this. I also did the 5K on Saturday. While I paid for Will Call race day pick-up just for the 5K Saturday morning, I did decide to go to the expo and pick up my bib on Saturday for the half since I wanted to just roll out of bed Sunday morning. The expo was at the aquarium ballroom which is right by the hotel and race start. It was kind of a lame expo with very few booths but the location was excellent and you could see whale sharks and belugas (the two highlights of the aquarium) from the ballroom. Packet pick-up was efficient and included bib and a nice, long sleeved green tech shirt. There were not a ton of free samples or vendors at the expo. Race day morning was a breeze. It was raining so I didn’t want to wait outside and I just left my hotel about 15 minutes before the start to avoid waiting outside too much. Race was divided into 5 corrals which left about every 3 minutes. It was well organized and allowed the race to not be too crowded. It was a medium sized race with a few thousand runners. The half and full share the same first 13 miles. I really enjoyed the course and thought they designed it to be as nice a tour of Atlanta as possible. It starts by going through Downtown Atlanta and also goes by the Jimmy Carter Library, by the Botanical Gardens and through some of the cool, pretty neighborhoods and then through Georgia Tech and then back downtown to the finish in the park. There was almost always something interesting to look at and really no boring stretches on the course. As a downside the course, as you have probably heard, is very hilly. I didn’t think it was terrible. It was about 750 ft of elevation gain in the half but it was just constant, rolling hills. There were no particularly tough stretches but also no particularly easy stretches. It is not a PR course but if you did hill training you could get a good finishing time. The course was a little tougher today with the rain though the temperature was absolutely perfect running temperature. The course was very well marked and the streets were either closed or half closed to traffic. There were plenty of course marshals and aid stations with water and powerade (this is coca cola country you are only getting coke products here) and plenty of porta potties on course. I can’t comment on porta potties at the start since I just rolled out of bed and didn’t use any. I have two negatives about the race. One is there were almost no spectators. I know it was a rainy day so I would expect less than usual but this was incredibly sparse especially for a big city race. I have done other races in the rain in smaller cities with more spectators than this. Based on other reviews this seems to be a race with little spectators even in nicer weather. At least for the half there are plenty of people running with you so it’s not like you are alone but if you love spectator support this is not the race for you. I understand a race can’t control spectator support that much but they could have had more on course entertainment such as Miami had (and while Miami had less spectators than other big city races I’ve done it had a lot more than Atlanta) or even simpler the race could place signs with jokes and encouraging messages along the course. The other issue which seemed to be a one-off is the bibs were made with less durable material than usual due to manufacturing issues and would not stay on. I was more worried about my bib falling off and not getting an official time than my actual finishing time since I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere near a PR nor anywhere near not making the time limit so I spent a lot of time re-pinning my bib to keep it on. But I saw other runners lose their bibs and also stop to re-pin their bib. I managed to keep my bib on but almost came off in the final 0.1 mile of the race and I am holding my bib up in my finishing photos to make sure it registers. To give the race credit, they did within a couple hours of the race finishing email an apology and a link to upload results if you lost your bib. So this seemed to be a one off thing and I always appreciate it when a race acknowledges instead of ignores a mistake. The finish line itself was nice with an announcer and arch but the finish festival was pretty anti-climatic. My finishing time would normally be slow but it was exactly as I expected give I am recovery from injury and still building back endurance and did not push myself too hard to ensure I didn’t reinjure myself and I ended up a couple minutes faster than Miami. The medal is a nice flower design. While it is bigger than he 5K medal I actually preferred the 5K medal design but both were nice. They also gave a disposable jacket which was appreciated with the rain. What was not appreciated was the terrible post race food. This was the worst post race food of any medium to large race I have done (with some rare pandemic exceptions where races weren’t doing any food). There was just gogurt, fruit cups and bananas. None of which are very substantial. They also had a publix truck serving pork sandwiches but nothing vegetarian. I understand not catering to all dietary restrictions (though the last two larger races I did Louisiana and Miami were amazing about catering to just about everyone) but I thought pork sandwiches were a particularly poor choice. Atlanta is a very diverse city with tons of vegan options (I would recommend Herban Fix for a vegan restaurant) so it was surprising to have such poor vegan options at the finish line. Luckily I had bought breakfast to eat after the race just in case. Overall I thought this was a good race and I enjoyed the course but it was definitely lacking the elements of some other big city races I have done. It was kind of frustrating because this was so close to a great race. If they could figure out how to get more spectators or add more on course entertainment and have a better finish festival with better food options it would be a great race. I would still recommend this race if you prefer bigger city races and/or are looking for a very convenient race to travel to. I may end up doing it again since it is a Sunday race and Atlanta is one of the most convenient cities to fly to in the South.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
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    SCENERY
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    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 05, 2022 at 8:07pm

    Thanks Amy, great review! Congrats on notching another state and on steadily building back your endurance. The ATL is one of those races I regularly think "Maybe, maybe not" as… MORE

    Thanks Amy, great review! Congrats on notching another state and on steadily building back your endurance. The ATL is one of those races I regularly think "Maybe, maybe not" as I try to plan for Georgia. You've done a wonderful job of setting expectations and communicating the essence of race weekend, and especially for someone like me who's never visited Atlanta. And yes, likewise count me out for the post-race pork sandwiches... 😝 LESS

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    seagroves87 Mar 07, 2022 at 9:26am

    I would say if you never visited Atlanta, it is a good excuse to do the race as it is a fun city to visit. But I would recommend the… MORE

    I would say if you never visited Atlanta, it is a good excuse to do the race as it is a fun city to visit. But I would recommend the race more as an excuse to visit at Atlanta that the race itself. Like I said, it was fine and it checked all the boxes but was missing the extra perks (and vegetarian food) that Louisiana, Miami and Little Rock had LESS

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    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I wanted to run this race in 2021, but I didn't like the course. Luckily, the course was moved back to the city. I wanted the more traditional Atlanta experience. … MORE

    I wanted to run this race in 2021, but I didn’t like the course. Luckily, the course was moved back to the city. I wanted the more traditional Atlanta experience.
    The race expo wasn’t anything special, but the location was nice. It was in the Georgia Aquarium ballroom. You’re able to observe the whale sharks and beluga whales from there. That was a unique experience although I had been to the aquarium before. Bib and shirt pickup were quick and easy. There were no frills, just the basics.
    I stayed at a hotel that was only 1/4 – 1/2 mile away from the start. There are places to park around there due to it’s proximity to World of Coke Cola and the aquarium, but it’s generally expensive. One less stressor on race morning.
    The race start was spacious and runners in my corral seemed to be in the correct place based on pace. This isn’t always the case and I don’t want to use all my energy in the 1st mile weaving around everyone. There was a light rain off and on the entire race and start temp was around 50. The rain picked up a bit at times, especially near the end. The wet roads can be a little slippery, but my shoes were probably part of the issue (Nike next%).
    The course had rolling hills throughout with a few tough stretches. My normal course in Ohio is pretty flat, so maybe it was just me. There were only a few places that had very many spectators. Otherwise, there were a few scattered about. It could have been the weather.
    The race finish had the usual items. They gave out a thin jacket instead of a space blanket. It helped me warm up a little and keep from getting much wetter on the walk back to the hotel.
    The medal was nice and unique and the long-sleeved shirt was adidas and looks like it’s good quality. Overall, I thought it was a nice race and well organized.

    DIFFICULTY
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    My Media

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    ofshadowsgrey FIRST-TIMER '22

    Well organized race, nice course through the city, and great medal. Weather was tough with rain the whole time in 50 degrees but I managed a personal best. Major issue … MORE

    Well organized race, nice course through the city, and great medal.
    Weather was tough with rain the whole time in 50 degrees but I managed a personal best.
    Major issue at this race were the bibs falling off. I noticed bibs all over the course and managed to catch mine before it was lost to the course. Race organizers claimed not being able to get the proper material but it just seemed they were just being cheap.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '22

    My mom visited Atlanta with me so we decided to walk the 5K on Saturday morning. I also did the half marathon on Sunday so more details are in that … MORE

    My mom visited Atlanta with me so we decided to walk the 5K on Saturday morning. I also did the half marathon on Sunday so more details are in that review. We flew into Atlanta Friday evening. We paid extra for Will Call packet pick-up so we could get our bibs Saturday morning. It was very easy but it was $25 to add it. Packet also included a nicely designed polyblend T-shirt. Normally I prefer tech shirts but it was nice to get a non-tech T-shirt for the 5K and a long sleeve tech shirt for the half. The race also started in Centennial Olympic Park. It was not the most scenic 5K. It seems to take place on the least busy and also least scenic streets around the park. Not an awful view. Still had some sights of the city and some was in a park but they definitely chose the easiest streets to close not the most scenic route (which is completely understandable). Since I was walking it, it is hard to gauge the difficulty. There were some minor hills but nothing too hard. At the finish line there was a nice arch. There was the same not very good food although it was fine food for a 5K. The medal for the 5K was beautiful with a nice flower design. While it is smaller than the half medal (though still nice size for a 5K), it is actually a nicer medal design though both medals were really nice. I enjoyed this 5K and it was a nice additional to the weekend but it wasn’t a must run if you are not able to fit it in your travel plans.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    5

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    jamer133 FIRST-TIMER '20

    I ran this race because it was also the Olympic Marathon trials the day before. I was also coming back from an injury and had no goal time besides finishing. … MORE

    I ran this race because it was also the Olympic Marathon trials the day before. I was also coming back from an injury and had no goal time besides finishing. Expo was decent and shirts were very soft. Course was hilly, but plenty of aide stations. Nice “jackets” after the race to keep me warm. Course finished in Olympic Park which was cool too.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    pkroon FIRST-TIMER '20

    If watching the nation's top runners compete for a spot on the Olympic team doesn't fire you up for your own race the next day, perhaps you need to find … MORE

    If watching the nation’s top runners compete for a spot on the Olympic team doesn’t fire you up for your own race the next day, perhaps you need to find a different sport. For me, the 2020 event was an incredible weekend, and the last big event before the year came to a screeching halt due to Covid. On Saturday morning I had an awesome shakeout run and meet/greet with Meb, then witnessed the professional and elite runners duke it out on the Atlanta streets to see who would go to Tokyo. Sunday morning was our turn for the masses to get out and try our best. The Atlanta hills got to me (and maybe starting out a little too fast played a part), but I can say I went for the gold. At the finish in Centennial Olympic Park, the women’s winner from the day before posed with folks to show off our mutual medals in front of the Olympic rings! Atlanta has a lot to offer and did a great job putting on this event. For the non-Trials iterations of the Atlanta Marathon, I’m sure it is still exciting and worth coming for.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    b.wise23 FIRST-TIMER '20

    The last 10k is insanely difficult for a major city marathon. The Planners clearly designed this event with the half marathon as the premier race. After the half marathoners finished … MORE

    The last 10k is insanely difficult for a major city marathon. The Planners clearly designed this event with the half marathon as the premier race. After the half marathoners finished the support along the course was almost non existent. About half of the mile markers from 14-26 did not exist.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    corey10920 FIRST-TIMER '20

    I have very mixed reviews of this Race. The Expo for such a large city very disappointing. Very few vendors. To watch the Olympic Trials was AMAZING and well organized. … MORE

    I have very mixed reviews of this Race. The Expo for such a large city very disappointing. Very few vendors. To watch the Olympic Trials was AMAZING and well organized. The bag check is very crowded and had to wait about 15 minutes to drop my bag so do it early. This course had hill at every turn, not difficult but there was sure a lot so be prepared. The Full and Half Marathoners start and run together before the half breaks into Centenial Park. The course through the city had some nice sites. Finishing in Centenial park was nice but finishing at 4 hours for the marathon the organizers were packing up so not much but to grab your sandwich and chocolate milk. Again I thought a city the size of Atlanta would have more

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
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    2

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    andrew.lee1 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Tip: use the bathrooms at the Omni Hotel located right by the startline. The race got started late by 3 minutes. It has a combination start with marathoners and half-marathoners … MORE

    Tip: use the bathrooms at the Omni Hotel located right by the startline.

    The race got started late by 3 minutes. It has a combination start with marathoners and half-marathoners co-mingled. I usually prefer races that don’t do this, or have clear differentiation in bibs between the two races, but sadly that was not the case here.

    The course is hilly, but fine. You see a lot of Atlanta, e.g. running by the Carter Center, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Clark University, etc. However there are very few spectators and the roads are only partially closed to traffic (e.g. you have one lane, but cars are still zipping by you on the other side of the cones).

    Some other notes:
    1) Gels are provided at mile 8 and 18
    2) There was no on-course entertainment (e.g. bands)
    3) The course has a section where you run on grass to get onto a track to run 300 meters on a track
    4) The course has a few U-turns
    5) The award ceremony only announced first place male/female for overall, master, and grandmaster
    6) The expo is very small. 5 minutes in and out

    All in all, it’s a

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    bryangrullon FIRST-TIMER '20

    The weekend was dedicated to the elite Olympic Trials and the amateur Marathon and Half. The expo was slim, the space reserved was ample but there wasn’t many vendors or … MORE

    The weekend was dedicated to the elite Olympic Trials and the amateur Marathon and Half. The expo was slim, the space reserved was ample but there wasn’t many vendors or partners as you would in Disney or at the Majors. Saturday was a spectacle to see the pros run through the hills and 22mph gusts. Sunday, winds died down and it was just the hills. Always present, and consistently undulating. Perfect for those who strength train and need the challenge. The nicest touch, all events ended at the same finish line.

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    4
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    5
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    sandtar79 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Aid stations were plentiful on the route, as were volunteers and police support. However, bathrooms were definitely lacking. City streets were not in great shape. There were very few people … MORE

    Aid stations were plentiful on the route, as were volunteers and police support. However, bathrooms were definitely lacking. City streets were not in great shape. There were very few people out spectating and cheering. The expo was small given this was an event in a major city… I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. I would definitely NOT recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    BrianYowler FIRST-TIMER '20

    This race was well-organized, but there's not much to be excited about here. Pre-race: The expo was small and disappointing with very few vendors. It seemed like only the major … MORE

    This race was well-organized, but there’s not much to be excited about here. Pre-race: The expo was small and disappointing with very few vendors. It seemed like only the major race sponsors had a booth. The race shirts were soft, but sizing was small. When I asked about an exchange, I was given a firm “no”.
    Race day: The number of porto-johns was embarrassingly few. If I actually waited in line, I would’ve missed the start of the race. So, I waited for a few miles and stopped mid-race. The course rolled the entire way. My garmin indicated over 1400 feet of elevation gain! There’s no avoiding this in Atlanta, so forget the PR or BQ. There were very, very few spectators and no on-course entertainment (if you are looking for that in a city race). The medals are fine, but nothing special. The post-race food selection was small and typical.
    Overall: I was already in town for the Olympic Trials and I needed to check off Georgia for my 50 states goal, so this race worked out well. However, I certainly would NOT make a special trip for this race otherwise. With the huge number of marathon options out there, Atlanta doesn’t offer anything that makes it stand out from the rest. My advice…move on…there’s “nothing to see here”

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    sandtar79 Mar 03, 2020 at 8:58am

    I felt the same way about this race.... very disappointing. And I only remember seeing 1 port-o-potty on the second half of the course. Maybe I missed them, but they… MORE

    I felt the same way about this race.... very disappointing. And I only remember seeing 1 port-o-potty on the second half of the course. Maybe I missed them, but they were definitely few and far between! LESS

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    Supasaiyan93 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Absolutely amazing race! Unfortunately I did not have much time to explore the expo since I had to drive to MS Blues but from the time I spent there it … MORE

    Absolutely amazing race! Unfortunately I did not have much time to explore the expo since I had to drive to MS Blues but from the time I spent there it was fun, the merchandise was great and the atmospheric was lively. The course had extremely few flat spots and was either uphill or downhill but the hills made it so satisfying to cross the finish line. The medal is in my top 5 for sure, the volunteers course support, traffic control, and sites were top notch. I will definitely be back to run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    krenee2050 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Awesome race weekend! Beautiful, sunny day. Kinda cold at the start for me but I warmed up quick. Small expo for such a big event but all the essentials were … MORE

    Awesome race weekend! Beautiful, sunny day. Kinda cold at the start for me but I warmed up quick. Small expo for such a big event but all the essentials were there. I took the train in as I live locally but didn’t want to fool with parking. Short walk to Centennial Park. Gear check great. Thousands of people milling around- just the way I like it! And it was Olympic Trials weekend for the Marathon so all the qualifiers were at our start line shivering with the rest of us. Course had lots of rolling hills at beginning and end. They had GU on the course but I carry my own Sports beans. They had oranges at mile 11 and I couldn’t wait for them but then I ran right by them LOL. Lots of fluid stations on course. At the finish-Water, chocolate milk, and Powerade, Bananas, fruit cups, Publix sandwiches (OMG so good). Heavy, beautiful medal. Great atmosphere. I stuck around to watch the faster marathoners finish and then headed home. Will be back next year!

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    5
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    3
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    5

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    cwline REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Pick up bib prior to race day or pay extra. Plenty of porta pots at start and some along course. Mostly asphalt, watch out for potholes and wavy uneven road. … MORE

    Pick up bib prior to race day or pay extra. Plenty of porta pots at start and some along course. Mostly asphalt, watch out for potholes and wavy uneven road. Some brick, cement, grass and track. Pace groups, mile markers with time clocks. Lots of aid stations with water, powerade, other items. One section of course was confusing to some who missed about 4 miles. Results and free photos posted fast. Chocolate milk and a few more refreshments afterwards. Long sleeve shirt and medal.

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    BillyD0021 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Really cool big city race. Atlanta Track Club puts on a fantastic event. Saw all the great sights in Atlanta, and crowd support was great in many areas. I heard … MORE

    Really cool big city race. Atlanta Track Club puts on a fantastic event. Saw all the great sights in Atlanta, and crowd support was great in many areas. I heard the race would be hilly, but I wasn’t ready for this. Watch had me at over 1,500 ft elevation. Legs were trashed by mile 21. Still a great race, and I wouldn’t mind taking on Atlanta again, just after more hill training.

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    runningriddles FIRST-TIMER '19

    While the Atlanta Marathon is not the hilliest race I have encountered it definitely took me by surprise as to how hilly it was for a race in a big … MORE

    While the Atlanta Marathon is not the hilliest race I have encountered it definitely took me by surprise as to how hilly it was for a race in a big city. I would not recommend trying to run the Atlanta Marathon for a personal best, HOWEVER I would definitely recommend running the marathon for a great, big-city road race experience. It was very well-organized, well-set up, easy to get to using the MARTA public transportation system, and full of very friendly volunteers and great course support throughout most of the race. My full details and in-depth review are in my race report link below.

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 25, 2019 at 6:02pm

    I consider myself warned! The hills are definitely a theme in both your review and blog post, Aaron... so I can't say you didn't warn me if/when I have a… MORE

    I consider myself warned! The hills are definitely a theme in both your review and blog post, Aaron... so I can't say you didn't warn me if/when I have a chance to run Atlanta next year. I know some of the Olympic Trials hopefuls have also commented on how hilly the course will be. Nice job staying strong and congrats on another sub-4 finish, sounds like another successful road trip for Team Running Riddles! 💪 LESS

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    cwline REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Need to pick up bib at expo prior to race (open for 3 days prior). Not much at expo. Course mostly asphalt (watch for wavy road and potholes), some cement, … MORE

    Need to pick up bib at expo prior to race (open for 3 days prior). Not much at expo. Course mostly asphalt (watch for wavy road and potholes), some cement, brick areas, track and grass. Mile markers and time clocks. Plenty of water/Powerade stops. Lots of portapots at beginning of course and some along the course. This year course changed so half and marathon particpants don’t split until mile 13. Course not as hilly as previously. Good refreshments afterward, including chocolate milk. Nice longsleeve shirt and medal that spins. Results posted fast. Towel at end of race. (See photo)

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    cwline REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Good weather this year for the race. The course does have lots of potholes - most not marked. Plenty of water/Gatorade/portapot/etc stops. Each mile had a marker. Nice longsleeve technical … MORE

    Good weather this year for the race. The course does have lots of potholes – most not marked. Plenty of water/Gatorade/portapot/etc stops. Each mile had a marker. Nice longsleeve technical shirt and good finisher medal. Sparse on cheering zones this year. Usual refreshments after race. Results posted afternoon of the race.

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    cwline REPEAT RUNNER '08

    Nice race all through Atlanta. Plenty of hills. Lots of water/aid stations. Good cheer zones. More folks do the half marathon than the full marathon. MORE

    Nice race all through Atlanta. Plenty of hills. Lots of water/aid stations. Good cheer zones. More folks do the half marathon than the full marathon.

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  1. Races
  2. Atlanta Marathon & Half Marathon