Runners aren't the only folks expecting to reach a PR tomorrow morning.
No need to panic. You can board the first train that comes your way and make it to the race on time if you follow my personal "on your mark" MARTA survival plan:
1) Board MARTA south of Five Points. Trains from the east and west all dump walkers and runners off at Five Points every 10 minutes on road race morning; From that point on, it's a mob scene. But, if you board further south—ideally at the College Park station, near the airport—you should not have to fight any crowds and probably will find a seat.
2) Take the Gold Line to Lenox, not the Red Line. The Gold Line, which ends in Doraville, takes you to the stop closest to Lenox Square Mall (not to be confused with the Red Line, which stops in the heart of Buckhead). This stop puts you at a point above the start line, which means you can walk directly towards your coral. If you arrive early enough, however, the Red Line is a decent option as the walk to the start is pretty short.
3) Consider buying a permanent Breeze card which won't crumble while you run. I have a permanent plastic Breeze card and have no problem shoving it in a pocket before running. I also don't have to worry about it disintegrating on my run the way one might with a temporary card. Unless the system has changed since I purchased mine, you can buy them in a vending machine at most stations.
MARTA trains will begin service Monday at 4:45 a.m. with additional rail cars and more frequent schedules. The Red and Gold lines (North/South) will depart every 10 minutes until 3 p.m. The Blue and Green lines (East/West) will depart every 15 minutes until end of service at 1 a.m., according to the MARTA's website.
If you do not live in or near the Cascade Patch area, you may not want to drive south for easy train boarding. According to MARTA, a shuttle bus will connect passengers at the Lindbergh Station to the start beginning at 6 a.m. (see MARTA's website for more information).
After the race, MARTA will add trains heading north from the Midtown station west of the finish on 10th Street and take passengers back to Lindbergh Center station. Participants also may bypass the train and ride a bus directly back to Lindbergh.
All MARTA passengers should know that some bus routes will rerouted during the race. (Click here for a list of Peachtree Road Race Bus Reroutes). According to MARTA, they include:
5 – Piedmont Road/Sandy Springs
25 – Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
27 – Cheshire Bridge Road/Ansley Mall
36 – North Decatur Road/Virginia Highland
37 – Defoors Ferry Road/Atlanta Station
99 – Boulevard/Monroe Drive
and 110 – Peachtree Street “The Peach”
For additional information about MARTA's Peachtree Road Race plans, see MARTA's website or call customer information at 404-848-5000 (open Sunday until 5 p.m.; and on Monday, July 4 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.).