Dekalb Police Alliance Beat the Badge 5K 9/15/12

Not exactly crisp, but comfortable were the conditions for the Dekalb Police Alliance Beat the Badge 5K in Tucker Georgia on Saturday. Temperatures in the 60s were a welcome relief for this runner who struggles mightily with heat and humidity that can run well into September.  Even if it had been one a hot one, all participants were in good hands.  

The Participants
Sponsored by the Dekalb Police Alliance there was a good presence of public safety persons (police, fire and civilian) as well as a few current and former elected officials.  On the course there were lots of running pairs, moms and daughter, dads and daughter and fair amount of teens and tweens in the race.  What was atypical of this race was that there were not many of the “gung-ho running for a PR” racers, you know the ones who do all that running before during and after the race. These folks just were not there, which is suprising because the race is an official Peachtree Road Race qualifier.  In terms of sheer numbers, I’m not really sure how many persons participated in the race but I’d guess in the low hundreds, which is really ideal as there was no congestion in the race start and finish areas, nor were there there any issues exiting the parking areas.

The Course
The course started and ended on West Exchange Place in front of the Dekalb Police/Fire Rescue Headquarters.  The course wound past LA Fitness and turned left on Northlake Parkway, which meant the beginning was pretty much uphill.  Proceeding uphill and crossing over LaVista Road,  the course turned left onto the continuation of Northlake Parkway which was nice and flat.  Crossing I-285 the runners and walkers proceeded downhill to Henderson Mill, made a U-Turn at Henderson Mill and Northlake Parkway and headed back, hitting both the 1 and two mile marks behind Northlake Mall.  Making the climb from behind the mall back to the topside at Northlake Parkway and LaVista, it really was “downhill from here” as spectators and volunteers always tell you.  For an out and back course, this one was nice.  The hills were manageable and again, the mild temperatures, friendly officers and sprinkling of volunteers along the route made the running the course pleasurable.

The Scene
Centered at the Dekalb Police/Fire Rescue headquarters, there were plenty of shiny vehicles with flashing lights to view, which were interesting for both children and adults alike. Of particular note in front of the headquarters was a really beautiful 9/11 Memorial.  Both before and after the race many participants spent time viewing and photographing the memorial. Post race festivities included activities for children, sponsor booths to pick up additional goodies for your goodie bag and music.  The really big deal for me was that they had COLD water and sports drinks.  Many races I’ve participated in give you a bottled water straight from the case.  In GA in September, it’s still warm so that cold water was much appreciated.  There was also plenty of food for hungry finishers. 

The Dekalb Police Alliance Beat the Badge 5K is a perfect fall running event.  The size is comfortable, the course is just challenging enough and the race is family friendly.  If you’re looking for a good September race, that is convenient, smaller and fun, this is a good race to enter.

Until next time, see you on the trail.