Since its beginnings in 2011, the Peachtree City Marathon Relay offers a unique race for runners of all speed and skill level. Peachtree City is renowned for its nearly 100 miles of cart paths throughout the city. Go out for a run on the paths on any weekends, and they'll be filled with runners, bikers, walkers, and golf carters enjoying the City. However, as the popularity grows, it can have an unintended effect: we lose the sense of community. You run on the paths, and you might not recognize a single other runner. Running is a solitary activity. Runners can fall into habits–the same routes, the same running partners, the same over and over, again. It is this specific reason that spurred the Peachtree City Running Club and Tri-PTC to create the Peachtree City Marathon Relay--we want to build a race that will encourage runners to try new experiences in a fun environment.
To begin with, the teams are created to provide a diversity among its members. Whether the runner has completed 20 Ironman triathlons, or the runner is completing their first 10K, they must work together to achieve the fastest time in the marathon. These athletes make new friends and learn new tips, all in the spirit of friendly competition.
All of the racers begin the race with a brief prologue–race jitters are high, so a brief jog is perfect to calm the anxiety. More importantly, you must work as a team. The first runner cannot begin their loop until all teammates have finished the Prologue around Shakerag Knoll. Loop One starts with a brief run along Lake Peachtree, with a steady climb up to the famed Peachtree City "5 Points" in the middle of the loop. The next runner enjoys the run around Lake Peachtree as Loop Two carries them over the rolling hills through some of the early residential developments in Peachtree City. The Loop Three runner loves a challenge. While running through Planterra Ridge, the climbs keep coming, and they're steep! While the Loop Four might be the flattest, the final runner still pushes forward with passion–the race is nearly finished, and they have a chance to secure victory for their team. Once that runner finishes, the team joins together for a valedictory lap around Shakerag Knoll. In the Finale, the true merit of the race shines. Runners who might otherwise be strangers at the beginning of the race are now encouraging their teammates as they cross the finish line together, having completed a marathon on a beautiful summer morning.
Once the race is over, the fun begins. Runners can sit around and replace all those calories they burned as they give blow-by-blow retellings of their race. Once everyone has finished, they can celebrate the winning team, their teammates, and themselves for their accomplishment. The winning team, however, receives the glory of hoisting the Peachtree City Marathon Relay Cup, and after the race, their names will be forever etched into the cup. What better way to spend a Saturday morning?