So once again I didnt come anywhere close to my two hour goal. Blame my 15 mile per week training, my extra 20 pounds, my lack of mental toughness. All and especially the first.
I'll start with the bad. As it turns out, they are NOT kidding about Atlanta being hilly. Or humid. Of course, given that it is March, I didnt really anticipate it being 70 and humid at the start line. That made the first few miles really rough. It kind of baked off after an hour or so so it could have been worse.
The start was also not a good as it could have been. The corrals were totally unmanaged, and unlike most big races, the calls to line up weren't audible from the gear or bathroom areas. I went to get online at 6:40 and never made it to my corral. The pacers only had small signs and I have no idea where the two hours pacer was....the only one I ever saw online was 3:55.
Overall this is a super well run race. The expo was nice (though parking was $10) and the finish was organized. I'm not really clear why the food bags weren't given out with the medals (mini shoppers prefilled) but they were near gear check (which was painless) and there wasn't a line. They also had heat sheets (grabbed one for the ride home) and both wet and dry towels. My wet one is still on my neck as I write this on MARTA. They had water and chocolate milk at the finish (nice in theory but maybe better with food. I love chocolate milk but in an overheated state couldn't grab one).
The course itself was hard. This was my 12th half and definitely the most challenging course (which made my fairly dramatic undertraining and the heat more of a problem). Around mile 5 the trip hour pacer passed me. Awesome. Around mile ten the 2:10 pacer flew by. I'd stuck with a walk water stop plan till then, after that walked every 5 min as well. At mile 11 I knew I couldn't hit my 2:07 time from October and kind of gave up. I walked a lot at the end and finished in 2:11.