Atlanta Peachtree Road Race is the World’s Largest 10k
Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race is the World’s Largest 10k. Photo Credit: Atlanta Track Club

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Last year we talked about running several of these same events. But they’re special. You can read about ‘em if you wish in our July 2022 post.  We’re not just about Atlanta, cause once again we’ve managed to find interesting running events in 34 different Georgia communities for our 2023 Georgia Running Events Calendar.

Each month we feature running events of varying distances and difficulties under headings of A Running in Atlanta, B Best Race in Georgia, C something to Complete your options, plus a race we just deem D as in Difficult: like this month’s Red Top Rooster Trail Run. This year we’ve added an E for Extra with race(s) just across the State Line.

This is a Blog about running in Georgia. And this Post is about Best Georgia Running Events July 2023.

A (Atlanta) — Peachtree Road Race

Best Georgia Running Events July 2023 include the Peachtree Road Race. Photo Credit: Atlanta Track Club
Best Georgia Running Events July 2023 include the Peachtree Road Race. Photo Credit: Atlanta Track Club

The Atlanta Track Club puts on some BIG events, and this one is the World’s Largest 10k.

How big? According to WSB-TV, some 50,000 runners ran the Peachtree Road Race in 2022. 

I ran this race back in 2007. It was the era when only the speedsters in Coral A got those digital timing chips. And I was shocked at the number of people who jumped onto the course and waddled down to the finish line because they wanted THAT Peachtree Road Race Tee Shirt!

In 2020 I decided I’d run it again if for no other reason that I was jealous of all those folks in the choir who’d run the race and then show up Wednesday night afterwards in THAT Peachtree Road Race Tee Shirt. Cept this time they took our money. Cancelled the race. Mailed us the Tee Shirt. And told us we could all go out and run it virtually. 

That said I finally got around to running it. And I ran the actual Peachtree Road Race course since I live here. But I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t submit my time. …. only to learn later that I would have been Top 10 in my Age Group!

The Kenyan won but who cares. Conner Mantz was the top American and fifth overall with a time of 28:04.  The top Georgia finishers were Edward Blaha of Atlanta, a recent Pace Academy graduate, in 31:11, and 24-year-old Emma Grace Hurley of Brookhaven (14th) in 33:36. 

So here we are again Signed up and ready to run cause my daughter Ruth and her husband Chris are doing it. (And I’m going to beat them!)

Here’s what you need to do. Ask Yourself: How do I get to the Start Line on July 4th? How do I get back once the race ends in Piedmont Park? My suggestion is to make a trial run. Research: Where to park? The Train Station lot near me is Free. How to Buy a Marta Card? Then try it out by catching the train and heading up to the Start Line at Lenox Square. 

Marta’s Red Line takes you to the Buckhead Station a couple of blocks south of the Start Line. 

The North South train (Gold Line) takes you to the Lenox Station behind Lenox Mall where you will walk up the hill to the Start Line.

Talking with other runners after last year’s Hotlanta Half, I was amazed that not a single Atlanta area runner I spoke with had exercised their Hometown Advantage: You slept in your own bed, you ate your own food, and you know the course! Last month we gave you a Training Tip for the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race, and we’re repeating it below:

Training Tip: The Peachtree Road Race is BIG, and if you’re one of the 40-50-60,000 runners in this year’s race, you need to have a plan beginning with how to get to the Start Line. The first two miles of this 10k race are a gentle downhill that will tempt you into pushing harder. Don’t do that. The key to this race is holding it steady until you’ve reached the top of that 1-mile hill next to Piedmont Hospital. At this point you’re about 3 miles to go on a rolling course. Now’s the time to let it go and see how fast you can run.

Looking at that photo of the race shot by WABE, I realized that my previous advice only made sense IF you were in one of the first corals: A, B, and possibly C. The rest of us are going to be packed together so tightly it’s going to feel like you were running in that Marine Corps Marathon up in Washington DC. 

The Atlanta Track Club has you placed in a coral with other runners who share a similar 10k finishing time. And I suspect you’ll be running together for much of this event. So here’s the reality for most of you who will be running this race: You might have a bad day and fall back, but pushing ahead may be tough. 

Here’s why: I’m currently pacing 56 minutes. In 2022 there were 521 runners who crossed the finish line between 55:00 and 55:59. The Atlanta Peachtree Road Race is that BIG! 2022 Finishing Results Atlanta First News.

Where to Park: Lenox Square is an option, but most of us will be arriving on the train. Check the Atlanta Track Club website and Marta for options.

How to Train: The Elites may start in the cool at 7AM, but your coral will start later in the morning. I’m currently doing three runs a week: a hill run, a 10k on an outdoor track, and a slower… longer distance run. You’ve got to get comfortable with the hills, the heat, and the humidity.

Where to stay: Mr. Morris used to pack up the family down in Perry, book a hotel room near the Start Line at Lenox Square, and make a weekend of it. I mean nothing beats walking across the street to the Start Line. Here’s a listing of area hotels from Trip Advisor.

Registration costs always go up as you get closer to the event. So be sure to check out our 2023 Georgia Race Calendar for the Best Georgia Running Events and plan ahead.

B (Best) — Best Race in Georgia: Big Dog Heatwave 5 Miler  in Columbus

The Columbus Road Runners are an active running club with a year-round event calendar. July kicks off with the Big Dog Heatwave and continues with the CRR Half, a Beer Run, and the Big Dog Road to River Challenge.

Most event promoters send me a photo of the Big race start, but the folks in Columbus sent me a photo of a middle age guy about two steps away from a call to ER, a runner on her way the Finish Line, and a suitable for framing photo of the Sweepers… they call them Encouragers in Columbus.

Andy and Ramona work as the Sweepers in Columbus. Photo Credit Columbus Road Runners 

If you’re a subscriber to the Columbus Newspaper, there’s an article on the Heat Wave race published in 2019, but it’s behind a protected firewall, so you may be able to access it, but I can’t. Ledger-Enquirer › article232315022

Jul 6, 2019 — Runners will battle the heat over a five mile course Saturday morning during the Big Dog Heatwave 5 Miler run in ColumbusGeorgia.

Basically, this is a point-to-point race. You start at the Lake Oliver Marina and you run to the Big Dog Uptown location on 11th Street in Columbus. Live across the river in Opelika or Auburn? No problem. Cross the 13th Street Bridge and You’re Home Sweet Alabama.

 How to train: You just can’t walk out of the air conditioning on race day like that guy in the photo I mentioned and expect to run a 5-mile race in July. You need to add a 1-hour Saturday morning run to your weekly routine until you get comfortable with the hills, the heat, and the humidity.

There are lots of tricks to running an event like this, but the first step is to slow down and get comfortable in the heat. Me, I run a little, walk a little. I’ve literally done long runs in 90 degree heat. How? Move over to the shady side of the street. Seriously, it makes a big difference. Oh, and I also pack my water bottle with powdered Gatorade and ICE.

Be sure to check out the Big Dog website. They’ve done a pretty good job of telling you everything you need to know, but here’s a thing or two you might need if you’re driving in from out of town:

Lake Oliver Marina address: 5501 River Rd, Columbus, GA 31904

Big Dog is located at: 12 W 11th St, Columbus, GA 31901

What to do? Explore Georgia had three separate listings for Columbus, something I’ve not seen before. And Trip Advisor has a listing for Attractions. But the one thing you need to do is to have a plan for getting back to the Start Line where you parked your car after the race is over!

Where to stay: My Search found options from the Hotel Indigo over by the Riverfront Park to a very highly rated Hampton Inn near the National Infantry Museum next to Ft Benning. There’s a Best Western if you’re on a budget and a Rothschild Pound House Inn if you’re not…. Both about a quarter mile from the city center. 

C (Complete) —Savannah Sultry Swamp Run 

C  Completes our 2023 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like the Savannah Sultry Swamp Run .

The Savannah Sultry Swamp Run is at the Savannah Ogeechee Canal. Photo Credit: The Rough Runners

This is another event from R4R. Run 4 a Reason adopted the name Rough Runners in a nod to our country’s 26th President of the United States and his tireless work in preserving our natural treasures, fighting against the greed of corporate monopolies, and just being a total badass his entire life. That’s Teddy Roosevelt for those of you lacking a degree from the LeConte School of History.

The guy next to me at the Start Line of the Savannah Sultry Swamp Run was wearing a Georgia Death Race T-shirt. These people do ultras, so this little race thru the park is just a get together on a sultry Saturday morning.  But Sign up if you can. They’ve made it fun for mere mortals like you and I with a 1-2-4 loop option. The 20K is the most race for your money. But that’s OK. There were lots of runners having fun on a really different 5k course. 

Next January I intend to check out their Daufuskie Island Marathon. But other Low Country events of interest include the Coastal Georgia Greenway Ultra, and the SSOD Stone Stairs of Death which IF you finish you get a survivor sticker!

Book it early. The Savannah Sultry Swamp Run is limited to something like 100 runners and you want to be there!

The Course Description of the website: This run represents the heart of the South in the middle of the summer! You’ll get no relief from the heat and humidity on this run…we guarantee it! Add in some snakes, alligators, horse flies, angry fiddler crabs and an occasional ragged, rabid looking raccoon and we’re talking a hot to trot run!

Let me add that you are running in Savannah, in July, a couple of feet above the high tide water line, in a swamp…. I had a great run, totally destroyed a pair of Newtons on those little invisible tree roots you can’t see on the trail runs down by the coast…but I didn’t move for the next hour after I finished.

The race has moved to a new location from when I ran it at Priest’s Landing. The new course description reads pretty much the same, but those wooden bridges look a whole lot safer and that single back trail a whole lot nicer. Whether you’re local or you’re driving in, I’d make a test run the night before to make sure you know how to get there and where to park your car.

The event location is on the website and you’ll need this information to find the Start Line: Savannah Ogeechee Canal, 681 Fort Argyle Rd, Savannah, GA 31419

How to Train: Find an outdoor track or a nice level course in the neighborhood and practice running an hour or so once a week …in the heat…

Where to Stay: It’s Savannah! Book a room on River Street if that American Express Card ain’t maxed out, but other options over by the Mall are lower cost and closer to the venue. Here’a a link to Explore Georgia. Where to eat? Ditto. But there’s a little seafood restaurant on the way over to Tybee Island called Bubba Gumbo’s that Beverly and I think is special. 

D (Difficult) — Red Top Roaster Trail Run

You see Red Top Mountain every time you approach the Cartersville Exit on I-75. The State has a park there. A Big Park with a 12,000 acre lake, 15 miles of trails, sand beach, everything but parking, so carpool if you can.

The folks at Dirty Spokes have been putting on a trail run at Red Top Mountain for years, and I see photos on FaceBook of a group from our local running club that compete in this race every year. 

What runners like about this race is how well organized it is with plenty of markers and aid stations. They like the fact that Dirty Spokes limits the number of runners to make this a better running experience, and they like the trail itself. 

What everybody gripes about is the ‘iffy’ distance. Your GPS and mountain trails are not always in sync, and the website presents these distances best they can. You have run the 15k, 5k, even walk…you just need to be a faster walker if want a finishing time!

Mary Girth at the Red Top Roaster Photo Credit Dirty Spokes

If you like this race, Dirty Spokes has a whole series of similar events that run from July thru December. This trail running series travels from Cartersville to Hartwell, Dacula, Suwanee, Roswell, back to Dacula, then Braselton, and Winder. There’s a point system if you’re seriously into this, but explaining it is a little over my pay grade. Where to stay: You start at the Lodge, you finish at the Lodge, so my advice is to stay at the Lodge. Except the website says they closed in June 2010! The website says the Red Top Mountain State Park has 93 campsites, 20 cabins and 6 yurts? Cartersville’s just around the corner with an historic Bed and Breakfast, 100 year old downtown, places to eat, stay, museums, Etowah Indian Mounds, and lots more.

How to Train: I once met Kenyan runner Henry Rono who told me “hills make you stronger.” He wrote a book called Olympic Dreams. It’s a good read. My advice is to look around, find some hills, and practice running up and down….

Gear Tip: It’s going to be hot, but the video on the website shows volunteers handing out water so you can probably can leave the Camelbacks and Hydration belts in the car. Me, I carry mine just so I know what the Hell I’m drinking. You need to dress light to stay cool. And I suggest you look into a good pair of trail running shoes. 

E (Extra) — Races just across the Line

This is a new entry for 2023 that we will try and give some attention best we can.

We focus on running in Georgia, but I worked in advertising and one of the Facts about buying ads in this State is that half your money goes somewhere else. Run ads in Savannah or Augusta and you’re getting South Carolina, Columbus gets you into Alabama, and the big TV station in Thomasville is part of the Tallahassee market. Same principle also applies in reverse to Greenville, Chattanooga, and Jacksonville.

We went surfing on to see what we could find. So here’s a couple of drivable events if you are looking to do a longer distance and not that interested in running something just south of the Canadian border.

Grandfather Mountain was the biggest race you could drive to this time of year, except something happened last year and the sponsors pulled out for the 2023 event… It ain’t happening this year.

Source: The Avery Journal

Photo by Jim Magruder | Magruder Photography

Burn Your Half Off Our next in line event is in Chattanooga. But like all running events just north of Ringgold, we’d advise you to take a moment of caution and check this race out. Why? Because we’ve witnessed other events just come and go, so we want you to Trust but Verify as the late Ronald Ragan once advised.

That said the reviews we read led us to believe that the folks who ran this race really enjoyed it. And if you can believe it: the course is FLAT!

Carolina Reaper Challenge Trail Run The folks just across the line in Anderson, South Carolina have taken their winter time Snowbird Challenge and tweaked it for a Dante’s Inferno like experience in 90 degree July heat.

Bearfest We thought we’d include the Bearfest Marathon just for the fun of it. Seriously, we thought the abbreviation AK was Arkansas, but this event is in Wrangell, Alaska. So if your idea of a good time is running on a small island somewhere between here in Russia, then be sure and check it out!

Tri The Parks

Photo: John Tanner State Park

SWIM BIKE RUN With the weather getting warmer, some of you may be wondering about a little swim-bike-run in the sun. Georgia has a series of triathlons and duathlons appropriately named Tri The Parks. The one I did years ago at John Tanner State Park in Carrollton has already passed, but the rest are scheduled June thru September. Tri The Parks is a great (low cost) way to get introduced to a new sport before you go plopping down some serious money to go compete with the Big Boys at Ironman Augusta in September.

In The News

Wall Street Journal Personal Journal April 26,2023 Writer: Jen Murphy

Catching up on that unread pile of old newspapers, I uncovered a few articles that might be of interest. And this one is not too far removed from what some of you are doing up in the North Georgia mountains: Sky Running. 

Runners’ Gear: Click on our Gear Page for the Big List of Made in USA products

Everyone’s getting their Red White and Blue ready for the BIG Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. Searching for Running Flag Shirts on Google, I discovered pages and pages of listings. On Amazon alone there were hundreds of offerings from brands like: The Patriotic American, Fansidea, Rabbit, USA Women’s Running Track & Field, Red Shirt Running… Runner’s World even had an piece with affiliate links to big name shoe brands, plus there were organic and sponsored listings from Mizuno, Brooks, Under Armor and more….And None of  em were Made in USA! 

Back in June we noted a number of places where you could purchase Made in USA flag theme running shorts, singlets, and shirts. Below are the two companies whose products I have personally run in and feel good about recommending:

BOA is so into this Red White and Blue that they have an entire page of Flag inspired singlets and shorts on their website. Actually it is 2 pages since one is for men and the second page for women includes an awesome Red White and Blue Performance Sports Bra…

Me, I wear the boring solid black Elite Running Shorts. But BOA is known for unique prints that help you stand out and not just blend in. So whether you want folks to think you’re running in a pair of cut off blue jeans or a set of lightning shorts BOA is ready for you to join in the Fun!

Photo of the BOA USA singlet I bought for the Peachtree Road Race.

Soark Before the global brands making stuff in China took over, the folks at Soark made running apparel for New York City and other marathons. Their website has a Flag Line Collection that includes Tights, Singlets, and Shorts.  

I bought a pair of Soark tights and a pair of running shorts, black of course, but the singlet is interesting to me. might look good in this on July 4th.

We showcased Made in USA Running Socks in our March 2023 post. You need to air dry running socks. Photo Credit Wright Socks.

Watch our Reel: Last year we did a video on How to Run the Peachtree Road Race. We posted it on June 30th , and you can check it out on our Face Book page

We like to talk about a couple of items each month. One or two are affiliate relationships. Most are Made in USA.

Back in December we put together a Big List of Made in USA Runner Gear including shoes, socks, shorts, singlets and shirts, caps, visors, running skirts and running bras on our Gear Page.

Got a favorite Made in USA product that you don’t see on this list? Shoot us an email or a link and we’ll look into it. Our address is


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Runners’ Links July 2023

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