Atlanta Track Club’s third annual Atlanta Hawks Fast Break 5k emerges as an iconic running event bringing together Atlanta basketball fans and the Metro Atlanta running community. On February 4th, over 1,700 participants assembled at Philips Arena to race through the streets of downtown Atlanta.
The Atlanta Hawks Fast Break 5k is a world-class running event ideal for any basketball fan and fulfills every avid runners desire to freely run the city streets through every stop light without caution. Participants kicked off their Saturday morning running down Marietta Street in between skyscrapers, jogging past Peter Street’s eclectic art scene and rounding about Atlanta’s newest attraction, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
From the moment runners arrived, they were greeted with warm welcomes, opened up to a fun and enthusiastic atmosphere and were embraced by some of Atlanta’s sweet, Southern charm. For the first time this year, participants had the opportunity to take courtside photos with Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders. They left with souvenir magnet photos provided courtesy of Mag-nificent Photo. Atlanta Track Club also provided prizes and awards to winners and best of all, race entry included tickets to an upcoming Hawks game.
Ronnel Blackmon of More Than Me LLC. regularly hosts Atlanta Track Club events and was joined by Atlanta Hawks in-game host Shamea Morton. The duo, plus Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders, Flight Crew and Harry the Hawk motivated and pumped up the crowd.
“It feels good! There’s a good crowd and everyone’s happy,” said Lauren Nieman, a seasoned runner who raced in the Atlanta Hawks inaugural Fast Break 5k in 2015. Nieman returned this year in better shape and ready to race. “You see other people doing it and it’s a change of scenery, making running a lot easier,” she said. “This is my favorite finish line because it’s straight down hill so you get a really good finish time!”
Nieman raced with her friend Jessica Miller, a first time participant of the event. Miller raved about the the DJ booths at each mile marker which helped give her an extra push. “The staff around the course [are] really hype! So it keeps you going,” she said after the race.
Despite an early arrival and chilly weather conditions, there was a significant turnout of runners and overall phenomenal energy. Most participants bundled up for the weather and were decked out in Hawks gear while Atlanta Track Club’s Elite Team dressed to beat their times. In 30 degree weather, Atlanta Track Club Elite Member Matt McDonald finished strong with a time of 14:38 and in a tank top and shorts! Also Atlanta Track Club Elite, Yolanda Ngarambe took first place for all females with a time of 16:53.
Hats off to all the participants for finishing and withstanding the cold weather!