Lace up your sneakers and make sure your hydrated because the Atlanta Beltline Race Series is coming to southwest Atlanta this Saturday, and it’s going to be a scorcher.
The Atlanta Beltline Southwest 5k is the second in this year’s three-race series, the southwest race aims to highlight the area of the Beltline that runs through the Historic West End.
Registration and pre-race activities begin around 6 a.m. at Brown Middle School, 765 Peeples St. Race-day registration closes at 7 a.m. The race begins promptly at 7:30 AM.
The first race in the series was the Northside 5K at Ardmore Park; the last will be the Eastside 10K on Dec. 3.
“It just keeps getting better,” Dan Popovich, race director of the Atlanta Beltline Running Series. “This is a fun little community. We’re just trying to build up the excitement and make the experience even more enjoyable.”
The route is fairly flat and fast, with part of the course going off-road onto a gravel trail that might slow some runners down.
The Beltline race series is currently the only race series in the city. This 5K will pit the Atlanta Fire Department against the Atlanta Police Department for an added competition at the race.
Popovich said a number of members from the fire department and police department have registered for the race and awards will be presented to the top finishers in the two organizations. Awards will also be given to the top finishers in the “media” category, as well as age categories, like a regular 5K. Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran will be on site to hand out the awards after the race.
There are currently 300 registered for the race and Popovich hopes more will enter by the week’s end. Interested participants can go to Phidippides at the Ansley Mall on Thursday from 4-8 to register or pick up race packets, or West Stride on Friday from 11-7.
Another unique feature of this race is the post-race festivities will be indoors at Space Atlanta. There will be a live band, several food stations with food between $2-5 and free beer for all the participants after the race, not to mention some great raffle prizes including Braves, Alliance theater and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra tickets.
All the proceeds from the event go directly to funding the Atlanta Beltline project. The goal of the race series is to build awareness of the Beltline and showcase the project by utilizing the trails its creating for the races, Popovich said.
“The Beltline is all about redevelopment,” he said. “Through these races people are getting to see it first hand.”
For more information visit the Atlanta Beltline Running Series website.