Atlanta Finest 5k
This past weekend I was attending Atlanta Finest 5K race which benefited Crime Stoppers Atlanta, a program of the Atlanta Police Foundation that empowers Atlanta residents to take a stand against crime in their communities. Not only was it a race for a good cause but it also allowed the participants and their families to get acquainted with different divisions of Atlanta Police Department (APD) and talk to the officers.
I had the opportunity to talk to an officer of the Mounted Patrol and pet his wonderful horse who attempted to lick sweat of off my arms through the duration of our conversation. The Mounted Patrol was recently brought back to APD and currently has 12 officers who are usually assigned to patrol parks, sporting events, and festivals. Patrolling from horseback has been found to be the most effective way of crowd control and allows for better visibility of the officers.
After I was done talking to the Mounted Patrol unit, I had a rare opportunity to sit in a SWAT vehicle. The officer that I was talking to told me that the 550HP, turbo diesel, armor plated assault vehicle will seat 8 210lb men in their assault gear relatively comfortably. We talked a little about their training and day -to-day activity, discussed the vehicle a little more and I was on my way to find a comfortable place to sit and eat my post race bagel.
Of course, you are wondering about the race….
When I arrived, I had no problem finding a parking spot just a short walk away from the event. I went to the number pick-up and didn’t have to stand in line. ( I know, right, this is sounding like crazy talk!) The music was playing, the sun was coming up, the crowd was buzzing, and the lines to the only bathroom wrapped around the building. The ease of access and parking was completely overshadowed by the fact that one had to stand in line for 20 minutes to get to the lavatories (we all know how important those are pre race!).
The race started firmly at 7:30 am after a few short speeches by Atlanta officials and the Chief of Police. The race was hilly, hard, but laid out well. The encouragement and cheering from the officers that were stationed throughout the route to monitor traffic was much needed and well received by all.
I honestly can’t recall of what happened during the last .10 of a mile as I was very tired and incredibly hot. I know that I crossed the finish line on tiered, heavy legs, and couldn’t wait to eat my bagel and drink my water. That being said, I PRed the race 2:00 minutes faster than my previous fastest 5K time.
Can I beat that time this weekend? I am pretty sure that I can! 🙂 Here’s to setting a new PR this Saturday at the Jog Days of Summer 5K.