2020 Peachtree Road Races Moves From July 4th to Thanksgiving
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(01-May) — The world’s largest fully-timed 10-kilometer road race, the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Ga., will be held on Thanksgiving Day this year, Thursday, November 26. The 60,000-runner race, founded and organized by the Atlanta Track Club, has been held on Independence Day, July 4, since it was founded in 1970. The move was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As Atlanta and the nation continue to take precautions to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, we understand that Peachtree participants, volunteers, medical staff and the other first responders who keep them safe need more time to prepare for this year’s race,” said Rich Kenah the Atlanta Track Club’s executive director and Peachtree race director through a statement. “We are thankful for the opportunity to move forward together with all of Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day in a responsible and safe format.”
Peachtree joins other classic American summer road races, like the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10-K in Cape Elizabeth, Me., and New Balance Falmouth Road Race in Falmouth, Mass., which will not be held this summer. The organizers of those races chose to cancel (or offer virtual participation), but Peachtree was able to postpone from one national holiday to another. Just a month ago, it seemed that summer road races could be held safely, but the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is still increasing, and large summer gatherings may not be safe.
Kenah said that his team plans to implement new procedures to help keep runners safe, like including fewer participants on each start line, providing longer separation between starting waves, redesigning hydration stations, and working with the public transit system (MARTA) to get people to and from the event.
“As this situation evolves and changes, we will make decisions based on the advice and information the Club receives from health experts,” Kenah added.
The Atlanta Track Club usually holds a half-marathon and 5-K on Thanksgiving, but that event will be cancelled for 2020.