18 was the inaugural Georgia Marathon in Atlanta and Decatur on 25 March 2007.
I had intended to spend a few days in Atlanta visiting colleagues at Georgia Tech around the marathon, but with the pace of modern life a few days became Saturday afternoon in Ali Adibi's lab. We nevertheless had a great discussion regarding holographic materials and strategies for spectrometer integration. It was wonderful to get caught up on collaborative projects with Ali and wonderful as well to wander the engineering section of Tech's branch of Barnes and Noble, where I bought a couple of books on digital signal processing that I put to immediate use the night before the run.
The experience of going to lunch with Ali alone is enough to make one aware that horror stories of Atlanta traffic are not over blown. Happily with the exception of that escapade alll of my Atlanta travel was within the confines of the metro Atlanta rapid transit authority MARTA trains. $9 for a weekend pass. I was not alone in this, it was great fun to be on trains filled with marathoners the way that one is more often on trains with football or baseball fans. The only down side is a bit of qeasiness regarding the idea of sitting where a runner has sat after a race.
Two experiences on the train were of interest. As with many subways, MARTA has parallel escalators and stairways. On the way back to the airport I was at the end of the line and watched as the entire train of non-runners waited for the down escalator rather than venture on a single flight of unused stairs. I finally took the stairs, although it was bit difficult in post marathon condition. In the morning at Five Points station filled with runners, everyone bounded up the stairs even though they were about to race.
Atlanta set a record 86 degree temperature on race day. It was already 70 in the dark when the run went off. I started back and took 3 minutes to cross the line, crossing one mile in 11 minutes. After that I ran pretty well, however, as indicated on the Bones in Motion data.The course had timing only at the half and at 20 miles, so I didn't keep track of how I was doing but I was passing folks all the way and running strong. I thought that I would take off at 20 miles, which I did until 23, but then I was out of gas and I rumbled on in. Late in the race I passed alot of people complaining that this was the hardest course they had ever run, but I imagine that few of them have run Montana's Govenor's cup. My chip time was 3:25:05, clock was 3:28:04, I placed 162 overall, 147 among men and 29th in my age group.