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Heading to Atlanta to witness the historic 761-person field who will race on February 29 for their chance to earn a spot on the 2020 Olympic team? You’re in luck. The course for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials was designed with crowd support in mind. Race organizers say fans will be able to cheer the Olympic hopefuls on as many as six times from the same spot on several sections of the course, which includes a three-mile stretch of the well-known Peachtree Street and finishes at Centennial Olympic Park.
The Atlanta Track Club put together an interactive map for spectators. Here are their helpful tips for navigating race day, plus the best spots to catch the action.
(And if you’re looking to squeeze in some miles of your own while you’re in town, check out this Podium Runner’s story for all the best places to run in Atlanta.)
Getting Around on Race Day
You’ll want to pay careful attention to the street closures on Saturday. (Find a list of them here.) MARTA trains will be your best bet for getting close to the action. Here are the main stops to know.
Main MARTA hub that will allow you to transfer from East-West to North-South lines, and allow you to get to downtown Atlanta.
Peachtree Center MARTA
Conveniently located to Peachtree St. and access to both downtown and the course.
North Avenue Transit Station
Further north on Peachtree, this will give you a great location to see the runners on Peachtree and access watch parties along the course.
MARTA Midtown Transit Station
Centrally located, this station will give you easy access to Hudson Grille and Peachtree St.
Most of these spots are a walk or easy jog back to the finish area at Centennial Olympic Park.
Intersection of 10th & Peachtree
An ideal corner for seeing the runners pass six times, this viewpoint is easily accessible by MARTA at the Midtown Transit Center Station.
Ivan Allen and Peachtree
Located at the center of the main eight-mile loop, this location allows spectators to see the participants pass six times.
Forsyth & Marietta
Located near the near the downtown turn, this location is a prime spot to see the athletes as the start the race and as they complete the first and second loops.
Race-Ready Bars & Restaurants
Several bars and restaurants along the route plan to offer drink and food specials and show the broadcast of the event on their televisions. Here are a few of the top spots along the race course.
City Tap House Atlanta
Right on Peachtree, City Tap has 20 TV screen (including a 14-footer), plus a top-notch patio that will make watching the runners pass six times a thrill. They’ll have free parking (before road closures), a sign making station, and live music immediately after the race.
Publik Draft House
Located next to the historic Fox Theatre, Publik Draft House will have food and drink specials and show the broadcast live on NBC.
Georgia Beer Garden
In the heart of the Old Fourth Ward, Georgia Beer Garden has the largest backyard in downtown Atlanta. You’ll be able to catch the runners live as they pass by three times as well as inside on 7 big screen TVs. Tracksmith, who will have 138 amateur runners racing, will be hosting a viewing party from 11am-3pm and an after-party from 5-7pm (find more info on their event page here).
Located directly across from Centennial Olympic Park, Hudson Grille is an excellent spot to view the race. The bar has lots of TVs, a giant patio facing the course, and will be offering a number of 26.2-inspired food and drink specials ($2.62 tacos anyone?).