Zooma Atlanta

Atlanta Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 7 › view all entries
My very first half marathon, Zooma, with Ed, mom, Carol & Bill Atlanta, Georgia
I chose the Zooma Women's Race Series for my first half marathon because they had a local one here in Atlanta, in addition to many others throughout the US.  2008 was Zooma's first year of sponsoring these events, but they are still going strong and have a series scheduled for 2010.  http://www.zoomarun.com/  I had heard that the inaugural year for a race was fraught with problems, but didn't encounter too many.  The Zooma organizers were dedicated and the participants committed. 

One of many reasons I like Zooma is because part of their mission is to encourage girls to run.  They also donate 3% of the proceeds to charity and in 2008 Zooma Atlanta's chosen charity was CARE, an organization that I also support.
View of I-75 & I-85
  CARE allowed me to have a fundraising blog on their site and also has a workout donation partner, Eric Harr - a great guy who donates $5 for every hour you work out!  So, my training all helped support a great cause. 

NOTE:  You can actually participate in this workout program and help the CARE cause even without doing a marathon - check out http://www.care.org/features/workout/index.asp.  Just think, your workout can help feed or educate a girl in Mozambique, or Haiti, or in any of the countries in which CARE works.  So sweat for a good cause.  (and it's free to you!)

Most half marathon events in the US are part of a larger race weekend with several events, including full marathons, 10k races, 5k races and sometimes Kid Runs, or other special events.
Centennial Olympic Park
  The Zooma Atlanta event was held in Atlantic Station, a popular area with great shopping and restaurants, and sponsored by several Atlanta businesses.  We picked up our packets (bib, shirt, & various freebies) the day before the race at one of the supporting businesses.  They had vendors on site to sell race related items like energy drinks, workout clothes, running paraphernalia and sold champagne mimosas (which are distinctly NOT running related).

For my first race, some of my travel buddies agreed to join me and drove down from Ohio.  My mom, Ed, Carol & Bill are all half marathon veterans, each with at least a dozen under their belts.  They've been doing it for years and by the looks of them, it works!  They arrived the day before to pick up packets with me and explore Atlanta.
Georgia Aquarium
  We visited Atlanta's Cyclorama because Bill is a Civil War nut.  We went to Noche (see my review) because I'm a Tapas nut, and in my little suburb of Atlanta, Covington, we visited the Hollywood of the South museum - which is a tiny soda fountain / antique store that also has a one room 'museum' in the back with photos of the many films that have been set in Covington.  These include the Dukes of Hazzard, Heat of the Night, and now the Vampire Diaries. 

The race itself, all 13.1 miles, crossed throughout downtown Atlanta which allowed participants to get a good feel for the city and its sights.  We got to run around Turner Field, past the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Park, and past the Philips Arena with music, water stops, and cheerleaders along the way.
CNN Center
  I was thrilled that the first 8 miles were relatively easy.  My last 5.1 were a bit more difficult and I fell behind my buddies.  I managed to catch up with everyone just before crossing the finish line due to a burst of energy (and maybe 'cause I kept shouting 'mom slow down!').  It was great crossing the finish line, although we had all taken so long that we were among the final few to be officially 'clocked'.  Less than 5 minutes after we finished, they took down the clock and the race photographers in charge of capturing your special moment left!  

It was a cold day, so the after race party was brief - most participants just wanted to shower and warm up.  Since we were among the last to finish, the crowd was small, but there were still some folks mingling around a massage tent, a CARE tent that had the great "I am Powerful" T-shirt, a free Starbucks coffee tent, listening to a live band and chewing on the free food that always greets runners at the finish line.
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Auburn Street
  In an effort to replenish our depleted carbohydrates, we also had some beer. 

Once we were cleaned up and refreshed, we spent the afternoon visiting Atlanta's Stone Mountain Park and saw the Confederate Memorial Carving, but we were much too tired to hike even though the trails there are great.  My race buddies stayed another day and we did more around Atlanta - the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the CNN Center.  Since they're all frequent visitors to Atlanta, they'd already seen many of the best sights like the Georgia Aquarium, largest in the world, and the Martin Luther King Center & Museum. 

In addition to hopefully getting in shape by doing these races, the race weekend is a lot of fun - with the race sponsored expo events and the days leading up to and after for sightseeing and hanging with your race buddies.
Stone Mountain Park
  I look at them as a way to see a city I may not normally visit (went to Grand Rapids for my 3rd one, which was not on my list of dream destinations!), bond with friends in a new way, support good causes, and have fun. 

For more on events in Atlanta, see: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlanta-GA/Atlanta-Destinations-Travel-Examiner/114278561922890?ref=mf
daniel_jetsetter says:
Congrats on your feature!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010
Tinktinkie says:
What a great cause! I have been to Mozambique and seen what the living conditons are like. Well done!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010
TravellingAuntie says:
Thanks y'all!!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
My very first half marathon, Zooma…
My very first half marathon, Zoom…
View of I-75 & I-85
View of I-75 & I-85
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium
CNN Center
CNN Center
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Auburn St…
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Auburn S…
Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park
Centennial Park
Centennial Park
CNN Center
CNN Center
CNN Center
CNN Center
CNN Center
CNN Center
View of Turner Field and the Georg…
View of Turner Field and the Geor…
View of I-75 & I-85
View of I-75 & I-85
Covington, Georgia off the square
…
Covington, Georgia off the square…
Atlanta
photo by: vulindlela