Over the span of its first 49 years, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has featured many of the best elite runners in the world. This year, all four reigning Peachtree champions – Bernard Lagat, Stephanie Bruce, Daniel Romanchuk and Susannah Scaroni – are expected on the start line for Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon. So, we’re taking this occasion to look back at some of the Peachtree greats who have also had success in the Big Apple.
Peachtree Winners Who Went on to Win the New York City Marathon Later the Same Year
1981: Allison Roe (NZL)
It was a big year for the 24-year-old, who set course records in winning the Boston Marathon and Peachtree before going on to win in NYC. Roe is being inducted this week into the NYRR Hall of Fame.
1983, 1985, 1986, 1988: Grete Waitz (NOR)
Waitz, who won the New York City Marathon a record nine times between 1978 and 1988, got knocked to the ground at the start of the Peachtree in 1983, but still smashed the course record.
1993: Uta Pippig (GER)
After winning Peachtree and New York in 1993, Pippig would go on to win Boston three years in a row from 1994-1996.
2010: Gebre Gebremariam (ETH)
The 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Champion, Gebremariam had great range – he finished fourth in the 2004 Olympics at 5000 meters in addition to winning Peachtree and New York and finishing in the top three twice in Boston. He’s married to eight-time World Cross Country Champion Werknesh Kidane.
2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 Tatyana McFadden (USA)
What more is there to say about McFadden? Her seven Peachtree wins make her the most successful athlete in race history, and she will be seeking her fifth New York City Marathon wheelchair win on Sunday. If she succeeds, she will become the winningest wheelchair athlete in race history, breaking the tie she’s in now with Kurt Fearnley and Edith Wolf Hunkeler.
2005, 2008, 2009: Edith Wolf Hunkeler (SUI)
With a shattered leg held together by pins after crashing near the end of the 2006 World Championships marathon, Hunkeler was told she would never race again. She not only won Peachtree twice more, but also won two Paralympic gold medals. She will be inducted into the NYRR Hall of Fame this week.
2002, 2003: Krige Schabort (RSA)
2004: Saul Mendoza (MEX)
A six-time Paralympic medalist, Mendoza won his first medal – gold at 5000 meters – right here in Atlanta in 1996. His time of 18:38:06 from his 2004 win is still the course record.
2007, 2008: Kurt Fearnley (AUS)
Winning New York City and Peachtree in the same year twice is impressive, but that was just a warm-up challenge to the adventurous Aussie, who in 2009 crawled the famed Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, 10 days over arduous terrain
Peachtree Winners Who Went on to Finish Top 3 in NYCM the Same Year
1975: Gayle Barron (USA), 3rd in NYCM
Gayle Barron won five of the first six Peachtrees, including the first in 1970. She also won the Boston Marathon in 1978.
1976: Bill Rodgers (USA), 2nd in NYCM
Four Boston Marathon wins, four New York City Marathon wins, and he’s still going strong: Rodgers won his 70-74 age group at the 7-mile New Balance Falmouth Road Race this summer in 58:08, averaging 8:19 miles.
1980: Patti Catalano (USA), 2nd in NYCM
After winning the 1980 Peachtree in a course-record 32:48, Patti Catalano (now Dillon) ran 2:29:33 in NYC later that year for an American record, becoming the first U.S. woman to break 2:30.
1994: Anne Marie Lauck (USA), 3rd in NYCM
Lauck finished 10th in the 1996 Olympic Marathon in Atlanta, the top American woman. She was living in Marietta at the time.
Peachtree Top 3 Who Went on to Win NYCM the Same Year
1995: German Silva (MEX), 3rd in Peachtree
Silva won his second-consecutive New York City Marathon in a fashion much less dramatic than the year before – that’s when Silva had to overcome taking a wrong turn into Central Park in the final mile.
2010: Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 3rd in Peachtree
Kiplagat, a two-time IAAF World Champion in the marathon, would come back to Atlanta to win the Peachtree in 2016 (and the Boston Marathon in 2017).
Other Notables to Finish Top 3 in Both Peachtree and NYCM the Same Year
1997: Colleen de Reuck (USA) 2nd at both
A frequent Top 5 finisher at the Peachtree, the four-time Olympian – and 2004 U.S Marathon Trials Champion – is a former world record-holder at 10 miles and 20K. More recently, she won her 50-54 age group at the 2015 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
1999: Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 2nd at both
It took some great athletes to beat Ndereba, a two-time World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, in her Peachtree appearances: Among them were Elana Meyer, Lornah Kiplagat and Derartu Tulu.
2003: Lornah Kiplagat 2nd Peachtree, 3rd NYCM (KEN, NED)
Lornah represented Kenya at Peachtree in 2003, but by the time she ran NYC in the fall she had become a citizen of the Netherlands after marrying Pieter Langerhorst in 2002. A five-time Peachtree winner and still the course record-holder, Kiplagat founded a high-altitude camp in Iten, Kenya, that is open to runners at every ability level.