ATLANTA -- The hardest part of Thursday's AJC Peachtree Road Race might not have been navigating the 6.2-mile course.
Try navigating the muddy mess in Piedmont Park.
Despite weeklong threats, Thursday's rain didn't take a huge toll on the race itself. It was Piedmont Park, where some 55,000 runners gathered afterward, that took the hit.
Runners tromped across the park's normally pristine lawn as they collected t-shirts and post-race peaches. Many left with their shoes and legs caked with mud. But what happens to Atlanta's crown jewel after all the crowds are gone?
George Dusenbery, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs for the City of Atlanta, told 11Alive News after any major event, the park does not allow another one for the next six weeks, giving the grass time to recover. A major event, he says, is one bringing 50,000 people or more (like Music Midtown).
The ground will likely have to be re-sodded and temporarily roped off, Dusenbery said, but it's not uncommon after such large events, adding that the grass "bounces back" quickly. Event coordinators (in this case, the Atlanta Track Club) are responsible for any costs associated with restoring the park to its original condition after each event.
Dusenbery said park organizers and Atlanta Track Club representatives will walk the grounds Monday to assess damage and determine a repair plan.