July 4, 2016
ATLANTA – Sun, heat and humidity ruled the 2016 AJC Peachtree Road Race. Participants and spectators of the world’s largest 10K welcomed the summer conditions on Independence Day after last year’s rainy skies.
The second annual Peachtree Cup was awarded to the top overall male and female. The men’s elite race ended with an exciting finish between three competitors. Gabriel Geay (Tanzania) narrowly beat out Daniel Salel (Kenya), who crossed the finish line first in the 2015 Peachtree Cup team competition. Geay finished in 28:48.50 ahead of Salel’s 28:48.65. Kenya’s Philip Langat was not far behind with a time of 28:51.40.
“I’m very happy to win this race,” said Geay. “I didn’t know when I won, because those two Kenyans are very strong. But I knew I had good speed.”
For the women, two runners pulled away from the pack early in the race and dominated for the entire course. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) controlled the pace with Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba right behind, until Kiplagat made her move just before mile five. Kiplagat added to her lead before finishing in 32:24; Diriba crossed the line at 32:28.
“I am happy today because I have tried three times to win this race and I didn’t make it, but today I made it,” said Kiplagat.
For the second year in a row, the Kilometer Kids Charity Chase matched up our nation’s military branches in a two-part competition. In partnership with United Military Care, Team Air Force, Team Army, Team Coast Guard, Team Marine Corps and Team Navy competed for bragging rights in two areas: The fastest military branch and the team that receives the most donations for Atlanta Track Club’s Kilometer Kids youth running program through an online fundraiser.
Team Air Force crossed the line first with a commanding lead to win the footrace portion of the Kilometer Kids Charity Chase. Captain Richard Elmore finished first for his team in 37:15. Team Air Force’s cumulative time was 5:09:11.
At last check, Team Marine Corps was in the lead for the online fundraising portion of the Kilometer Kids Charity Chase with 33% of the donations. All proceeds will go towards expanding the reach and accessibility of the Kilometer Kids program in Metro Atlanta as part of a continued effort to encourage young people to achieve health and fitness through running. A portion of the funds raised through the 2015 Kilometer Kids Charity Chase were used to establish a Kilometer Kids program at Fort Benning, the first to be established on a military base. The Fort Benning program launched last fall and more than doubled in size for its spring season. Donations will be accepted through July 31, 2016 atcharitychaseforkids.org.
Tatyana McFadden’s victory in the Shepherd Center Wheelchair Division of the AJC Peachtree Road Race earned her the title of the winningest women in the division. The Clarksville, Maryland resident finished first at Peachtree for the sixth time in 23:14.
“It was definitely a busy weekend. There’s not much time between [Paralympic] Trials and this race, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said McFadden, who was named to the Paralympic Team yesterday after winning six events. “I’m really glad to come down and it’s a great way to celebrate the Fourth.”
Josh George (Champaign, IL) claimed his first wheelchair division win at Peachtree in what was his 10th time competing in the race (20:19).
“It feels great. The past few years I finished second or third, so to finally get the win, it’s a pretty big one for me,” said George.
The 2016 AJC Peachtree Road Race finisher’s T-shirt was a blue cotton-poly blend courtesy of Mizuno. A public vote chose Shay Harbaugh’s “Heart & Sole” as this year’s T-shirt design, which was inspired by three words: pride, heart and soul.
“With every step the runners take in the race, they are putting their heart and soul into getting closer to the finish line,” Harbaugh explained.
For full results and more information on the 2016 AJC Peachtree Road Race, visit peachtreeroadrace.org.