Atlanta Race for the Cure!

This morning, Mike and I woke up bright and early to make our way to Atlantic Station for the 20th Anniversary Atlanta Race for the Cure!

The banner announcing the event

In the past, Mike and I have had to wrestle our way through the large crowds before the event to pick up our race numbers.  This year we actually registered online far enough in advance that we received all of our race material ahead of time.  Because of that, we were able to relax before the race and soak in the atmosphere of the event.  Teams large and small were milling about, trying to get themselves organized before the start of the race.  It was a lot of fun checking out all of the pink gear and team t-shirts on the thousands of people around us.

Mike and I before the Race for the Cure (L) and one of the larger teams at the race (R)

One of the highlights of the morning was finally getting to meet Julie of the Two Pink Chicks Fo(u)r Boobs team for the Breast Cancer 3 Day.  Julie and I have been chatting on Twitter a lot, so it was great to finally meet her person.  Hopefully, we'll be able to meet up to do some 3 Day training walks in the near future.  She needs to show me around the 'burbs and I need to give her a tour of Intown Atlanta!

Julie and I before the Race for the Cure.

Around 8:15am, Mike and I made our way towards the actual starting line for the race.  In the past, we've been content to walk the course, so staying back in the pack of 17,000 people was okay.  But this year, we wanted to take it up a notch and actually run this thing.  So we worked our way up towards the starting line.  There were still thousands of people in front of us, but at least we were able to run.

The mass of people at the starting line, in the shadow of Midtown Atlanta

The race itself went pretty well.  We were able to run for most of the race without having to take too many walking breaks.  We ended up finishing in 34 minutes and 40 seconds, my fastest 5K time so far.  Mike pushed me to run a little faster than I usually run, which definitely helped.  It was also fun to read the backs of everyone's t shirts during the race.  Next year, I'm running the whole thing and I'm going to do it in less than 30 minutes!

After we finished the race, we headed into the Expo area to grab some water and our Race for the Cure t-shirts.  I was particularly excited to get my first Race for the Cure shirt with the new design.  We also grabbed a quick snack from Skinny Cow (YUM!) and checked out a number of the vendors and sponsor booths.  I was particularly excited to get this year's Ford Warriors in Pink scarf, something I look forward to every year.

Susan G. Komen loves Jazzercise! (L) and a picture of the Expo area after the Race (R)

Unfortunately, Mike wasn't feeling too well, so we weren't able to stay at the Expo for very long.  He was a real trooper, though, and fought through his terrible head cold to run the race with me.  I would have been much slower without him, so I was really touched that he still ran even though he felt so crappy.

All in all, it was a great morning at the Race for the Cure and even though Mike wasn't feeling well, I am calling it a success!

Feeling victorious back at the car after the race!

If you would like to see more pictures from the Race for the Cure please visit this album on my Picasa page.  I have also included a slide show after the jump that you can see by clicking "Read More" at the bottom of this post.  Pardon the quality of the images, I had to take them on my cell phone.

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