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'We're up and we're running' | Bottoms runs up AJC Peachtree Road Race, soaks up celebratory atmosphere

Atlanta's mayor said the race 'really is a turning point for us' as thousands got out to participate on Sunday.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Sunday morning after completing the AJC Peachtree Road Race that she hadn't even planned to run - until her 13-year-old took off running.

"I have a knee injury, a injury back injury, but my 13-year-old who's not trained took off in front of me and I got caught up in the moment," she said.

And what a moment it was to get caught up in.

The 52nd running of the Peachtree had an especially celebratory atmosphere, after it was held virtually last year and as normal life begins to re-emerge from the pandemic.

RELATED: 'What a great country' | Sen. Warnock runs AJC Peachtree Road Race for first time, marvels at how far we've come

Mayor Bottoms marveled at the sight of it.

"I am just so proud of Atlanta, and so grateful to the Atlanta Track Club, the volunteers, our public safety personnel, our public works, our military - just everybody who made today possible," she said. "This feels normal. So I'm grateful for that."

Credit: Jason Braverman
Scenes from the 2021 AJC Peachtree Road Race (Sunday).

She said it was stirring to soak up the pre-race scene, in particular the singing of the national anthem.

"It's really interesting - I felt very emotional when the 'Star-Spangled Banner' was being sung. I don't usually get emotional in that way, but this is just such a historic moment for us as a city and as a country. Because this really is a turning point for us - over the last year we have experienced things that many of us have not encountered in our lifetime. None of us have been through a pandemic in this way, and the social justice movement, and it just speaks to the resiliency of our city and our country it's who we are as Americans.

"No matter how many times we get knocked down we always get back up and that's what counts. So today we're up and we're running," the mayor added.

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