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This is what's different at the AJC Peachtree Road Race this year

Peachtree will look more like the traditional 4th of July race, but is still impacted by COVID.

ATLANTA — The streets of Atlanta will come alive on the 3rd and 4th of July as the AJC Peachtree Road Race will begin to look like it’s old self again.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 51st running of the Peachtree was done virtually. This year, it will be more like the tradition Atlanta loves, but it will be different as well.

Race organizers are accustomed to change. Longtime participant Sam Benedict remembers when drought moved the finish line away from Piedmont Park. Another race was impacted by Sunday traditions.

For the first time ever, the 2021 race will take place over two days. The crowd will be thinner.

Typically, the ELITE runners come from all over the world. This year, they’re all from the Unites States.

“Just to lean into being as safe as possible,” says Race Director Rich Kenah. “Just don’t understand the different requirements different countries will have to get into the U.S.”

Typically, runners start the race in waves of 3,000 separated by 5-minutes. This year, each wave will be made up of less than 1,500 runners separated by 10-minutes. There will be room for everyone stay six-feet apart.

Runners will be required to wear masks before the race and once they cross the finish line.

“You’re just going to be able to peel a mask off the back of your bib which will have in a little pouch,” says Kenah.

Runners will be allowed in the park for a drink and snack, but no one else. There will be no finish line parties.

The park is usually where runners grab their coveted t-shirt and see the secret design for the first time.

This year, runners will have their t-shirts in hand before the race.

COVID has altered this treasured Atlanta tradition, but our old friend is back and beginning to look like the Peachtree it once was.

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