ATLANTA — Atlanta will have to wait a little longer for one of the city's most treasured traditions.
In an announcement, the Atlanta Track Club said that the 51st running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race will be moved from its usual July 4th date to later this fall.
“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, race director of the Peachtree and Atlanta Track Club’s executive director.
Instead, the race, whose route winds through the heart of the city, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 26.
The Atlanta Track Club said this marks the first time ever - since the first Peachtree was held in 1970 - that the race will not be held on the Fourth of July.
While there are logistical challenges to moving the race, the Atlanta Track Club said "health and safety" are always the top priorities for participants.
"COVID-19 has pushed us to review our best practices and protocols in the areas of event and program safety,” Kenah said. “As this situation evolves and changes, we will make decisions based on the advice and information the Club receives from health experts.”
Other changes to the race to help keep runners safe include fewer participants on each start line, longer separation between waves, re-imagining hydration stations and working with MARTA to get people to and from the event.
Relive the 2019 Peachtree below (Story continues after gallery)
PHOTOS: 2019 AJC Peachtree Road Race
According to the Atlanta Track Club, more than 45,000 people had already registered for the 2020 race. All confirmed runners will remain registered, but because of the adjustment registrants will be able to:
- Complete the race virtually;
- Move their entry to the 2021 race, at no charge;
- Transfer registration to a new participant;
- Donate their registration fee to the Atlanta Track Club's community initiatives, or;
- Receive a refund.
(A full list of options can be found here.)
In addition, the Atlanta Track Club said it plans to reopen registration for the race from Aug. 31 through Sept. 6 for members. Registration for non-members will open from Sept. 7 and close Sept. 13, or when the event reaches capacity. Kilometer Kids Charity entries will remain open throughout the spring and summer.
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Participants who chose to pick up their numbers in person will be able to do so at the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo, which will be held on the days leading up to the race, on Nov. 23, 24 and 25 at the Georgia World Congress Center. This year’s Peachtree Junior, for children ages 14 & younger, will be held on Friday, Nov. 27. Registration is open now.
A full list of questions and answers about the 2020 AJC Peachtree Road Race, including the running of other events, can be found here.