ATLANTA — The AJC Peachtree Road Race, held annually on July 4th, was delayed last year until Thanksgiving - then it was scrapped and changed to a virtual race - due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, organizers insist it'll take place. With one change.
The 52nd running of the Peachtree will take place in-person over two days - Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4. Runners will also have the option to take part in the race virtually, if they choose.
“This year, the AJC Peachtree Road Race may not be the world’s largest 10K. Our top priority is for the Peachtree to be the world’s safest 10K,” said Rich Kenah, the race director and Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club. “As planning continues, we will remain in constant communication with our medical team and the city of Atlanta to ensure all in attendance feel confident that their 4th of July celebration was both memorable and responsible.”
Registration opens March 15 and will remain open until at least May 1, organizers said. Participants will be asked to choose your preferred race day. Start waves will be assigned based on performance.
Atlanta Track Club, which has operated the event since its inception in 1970, has not set a capacity for the race yet, but expects the total number to be less than the race’s traditional capacity of 60,000 people.
The Club said they commissioned a COVID-19 task force. The group will "regularly meet to assess the current conditions and adjust event mitigation efforts accordingly," according to a statement.
Current mitigation efforts include the extended race time and limited field, strictly enforcing face coverings for all in attendance when not running or walking; hydration stations along the course will be self-serve. Post-race gatherings in Piedmont Park, like the Atlanta Track Club Member Party, are suspended at this time.
Attracting runners from all over the globe, the race this year will feature an elite field with prize money for U.S. athletes only, they said.
The Shepherd Center Wheelchair Division will again host the best wheelchair racers in the world and the top push assist teams from the metro Atlanta area will compete in a division sponsored by the Kyle Pease Foundation.
The annual Peachtree Junior is still planning to take place, however, an exact date has yet to be announced.
The Publix Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo is also set to take place, with a date, time and location to be announced.
Like always, there will be a prized t-shirt for finishers. The design contest for the most-storied tradition kicked off today. Artists can submit a design between now and Feb. 19.
Registration for the Peachtree is $38 for members of Atlanta Track Club and a guaranteed a spot. The Club will allow participants to renew their membership or join throughout the Peachtree registration process. Those who aren’t members of the Club will be placed into a lottery. If accepted, they will be charged $45. If the AJC Peachtree Road Race is unable to be held on July 3 or 4th, the Club will offer refunds to those who are registered for the in-person race. Those registrants will also have the option to move to the virtual event.
The race will be broadcast live on WXIA / 11Alive.