ATLANTA — ATLANTA— Records could fall at the 50th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, and that includes one mark that has stood for twenty-three years.
19-year-old Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya has vowed to break the men’s Peachtree record set in 1996 by Joseph Kimani. No one has come within fifteen seconds of Kimani’s time of 27:04.
In the 1990s, Kimani was known as the King of the Road. He was one of the best in the world at the 10,000 meter run and was considered a favorite to win gold at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.
But misfortune got in the way.
During Kenya’s Olympic trials, Kimani suffered back cramps and didn’t finish high enough to make the team. Instead of traveling to Atlanta looking for gold, he came here with something to prove.
The weather conditions that July 4th were ideal for a record run. It was unusually cool with very little humidity.
Kimani ran the first mile of the Peachtree in 4:34, then proceeded to average 4:14 per mile the rest of the way.
Kimani’s record run at the Peachtree was, at the time, the fastest 10-K ever run on the road, and the fastest Peachtree finish by :52.
Joseph Kimani passed away at the age of 40 of complications from pneumonia. His legacy lives on to this day as the king of Peachtree.
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