When the starting gun sounds for the 48th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, some 60,000 runners will respond. Atlanta's 4th of July tradition is the largest 10K in the world, which means lots of competition for placement in one of the start "waves."
The 2016 race had 19 separate start waves, with A as the first to leave, and the July 4 race in 2017 will be similar.
If you want to be up toward the front to begin the race, or at least in the earliest wave possible, consider these tips:
Don't rely on being an Atlanta Track Club member. While members in good standing as of Feb. 1 do get automatic entry into the race and can register from March 1 through March 14, ATC standing does not determine a start wave.
Submit a verifiable time with your registration. Whether you're a member of the ATC or vying for a spot in the race through the registration lottery, submit a time if you have one when you register. The online lottery opens Wednesday, March 15 and runs until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22. While you won't know if you scored a spot in the race until selections are made and you're notified via email, the time you submit with the registration lottery is the one that will apply to your start wave assignment.
For a link to the times used to establish the 2016 start wave standards, for reference only, click here.
Submit a finish time from the previous two AJC Peachtree Road Races or any other USATF certified race, be that a 10K, 5K, 5M/8K, 15K, 10M or 13.1M. You can check to see if a race you've run is USATF certified by searching at this link.
Anyone who doesn't submit a time, submits a time that isn't from a USATF-certified event or whose first and last name do not precisely match the time submitted are randomly placed into one of the last start waves.
Consider running a qualified event in Atlanta before March 22. If you don't have a time but want to run in one of the earlier waves, consider entering one of the qualifying events in the Atlanta area between now and March 22. Race officials assure lottery entrants that anyone who enters before the deadline is considered equally, so you won't hurt your chances of being picked by waiting to complete a race even up to the weekend of March 18.
Just a few of the events include:
March 4: Awesomesauce 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, Chattahoochee Road Race 10K & 5K, Dental Dash at Dawn 5k, Run Dahlonega 5K
March 11: Berry Half Marathon/10k/5k
March 12: Shamrock 'N Roll Road Race
March 18: Marietta Shamrock Shuffle 5k, Gwinnett Life Run, Water Drop Dash 5k
March 19: Publix Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
Note, too, that even nearby events that are not official AJC Peachtree Road R ace Qualifying Events might be USATF-certified and could still yield a verifiable time you could use for the registration lottery.
Consider running on your own, not with your group. You are able to get selected as a group in the AJC Peachtree Road Race lottery. But if you actually want to run together, you all have to run in the start wave of the group member with the slowest entry time.
For more information on registration, click here.
Additional details regarding the 2017 AJC Peachtree Road Race including registration information, start wave placement details and specifics on the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo, held July 2 and 3, are available at peachtreeroadrace.org.
For any further questions about start waves or registration for the AJC Peachtree Road Race 2017, email firstname.lastname@example.org.