Spooktacular Chase: A Unique AJC Peachtree Road Race Qualifying Race
The witches and pirates are cheering. Zombies and superheroes are waving. Suddenly, a stream of 600 runners bursts from the lush Silver Comet Trail.
You’re at the Halloween-themed Spooktacular Chase, a 5K/10K like no other. On Saturday, October 13, 2018 in scenic Powder Springs, Georgia, runners will be going for their personal best – and the chance for a coveted early start wave assignment on July 4, 2019.
This AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifying race is being held by Vision Rehabilitation Services (VRS) of Georgia. That means all the money raised from registrants, sponsors and spectators will be going to help blind and vision-impaired people across North Georgia.
So no matter when you cross the finish line, it’s a win for everyone.
The One Race You Really Don’t Want to Miss
Ready to run along a famous trail, and through picturesque neighborhoods, on a fresh autumn morning? Previously known as Race to See,TM it’s the exciting 10th anniversary of the VRS annual run.
The 10K starts at 8am, and the 5K begins at 8:15. Completing either one will give you a finish time that you can include with your AJC Peachtree Road Race registration. The fee for this PRR qualifying race is $35 for the 5K, and $40 for the 10K. Runners can also register as a team.
The 6.2 mile USATF Certified Course in historic Powder Springs is about 15 miles west of the PRR event. Runners will start in front of the Powder Springs Town Square on Marietta Street. To get more details, and to register, click here. Advance registration is preferred, but you can also show up and register the morning of the race. Free parking is available.
The first 500 finishers get a unique 10th anniversary Spooktacular Chase Spinner Medal. And all runners registered by September 30th get a colorful t-shirt, as well as a free brunch at Powder Springs First Baptist Church. Place medals are given to First and Second Place in each age and gender category as well as Masters and Overall.
An Officially-Sanctioned PRR Qualifier
Spooktacular Chase is one of several AJC Peachtree Road Race Qualifying Races held in the Atlanta. These are important, because the better your finish time from a previous qualifying run, the earlier the start wave you’ll be assigned to at the PRR.
You’ll report that that finish time, along with the race name and date, on your PRR registration form in March of 2019 (an option, not a requirement). Note that to qualify, that run needs to have taken place on or after January 1, 2017. The Atlanta Track Club, organizers of the PRR, will verify that your reported finish time is accurate. If it’s not, you’ll randomly be placed in one of the later waves.
You can also report a finish time from either of the last two PRR events, but the Spooktacular Chase gives you the chance to achieve, and report, an even better finish time. One of the main reasons to run, naturally, is to improve.
Note that you can get a qualified finish time at Spooktacular Chase by running either the 5K or the 10K. If you choose the 5K, the ATC will use a series of algorithms to project your likely time for finishing the PRR 10K, and assign you accordingly.
Since the popular AJC Peachtree Road Race can’t accommodate all the people who apply, everyone who registers (except the elite runners) is entered into a random lottery. In the end, most registrants, but not all, will get to run on the Fourth of July.
Why is Being in an Earlier Start Wave Important?
At the Peachtree, 20 waves of runners will start at 5 minute intervals. Each wave includes about 3,000 participants.
Being near the front of the pack vs. the back means you’re less likely to be slowed down by congestion on the course, or by having to navigate around slower runners from previous waves. Such obstacles of course can impact your pace and rhythm.
Marcus Budline, Events Marketing Manager at the Atlanta Track Club says, “Plus there’s a safety issue if you’re trying to weave in and out of other runners.” Also, he adds, “Starting in an earlier wave means less waiting around; you can get done earlier, and get out of the heat.”
Some runners also say it’s more motivating to see better runners in front of them, instead of a crowd of less serious competitors.
Having a Good Time, for a Good Cause
“We really want people to have fun,” says Sharon Croyle, CEO and Executive Director of VRS of Georgia. “Many of the volunteers and spectators wear costumes, and even dress up their dogs.”
Sharon is excited about holding the race in Powder Springs for the second year in a row. “Powder Springs has been very forward-thinking in choosing some special races to host in their community,” she says. “So we knew this is where we needed to be.”
The race is expected to raise about $40,000 for the charity services organization. That will go a long way to help those who can’t afford the help they require.
So even if you don’t run, you’ll want to come out, show your support, and donate however much you can to the cause.
About Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia
VRS was founded in 1983 by a Cobb County resident who lost her vision at age 42, and had trouble finding services to help her.
Through her efforts, and the efforts of organizers, volunteers, donors and vision professionals, the organization she inspired has grown to provide much-needed help to thousands across 33 counties in north Georgia.
From the VRS headquarters in Smyrna, Sharon Croyle says, “Special events like Spooktacular Chase are very important for our financial health, because we can direct that money to where it’s most needed, as opposed to grant funds, which are limited in what they can be used for.”
Want to learn more about all the good work that VRS of Georgia does? Check them out, donate, and offer to volunteer at VRSga.org or spooktacularchase.com
Ready to Register?
Whether you’re running for time, or running for fun, all you have to do is click here to register now. We look forward to seeing you there!