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Why is the AJC Peachtree Road Race a 10,000-meter event?

Since the very first Peachtree in 1970, participants have covered 10,000-meters to reach the finish line.

ATLANTA — ATLANTA—Atlanta is a little more than a week away from hosting the world’s largest 10-kilometer road race, which might make you wonder why organizers picked 10,000 meters as the distance of the city’s iconic event.

Since 1970, participants have traveled 10,000 meters to the finish line of the AJC Peachtree Road Race. The distance, often referred to as a 10K, equals six-point-two-miles.

The 10,000 meters is an Olympic running event. Organizers of the very first Peachtree agreed it would be a suitable distance for a fourth of July event.

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“10Ks were all the rage then,” says Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah. “They were really popular. Marathons were not in vogue yet.”

You have to think about the time, location, and the character of the Peachtree.

Imagine trying to run a marathon or even half-marathon in Atlanta’s 4th of July heat.

The Peachtree is a party that involves elite athletes and casual runners who just want to be a part of the tradition.

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A 10,000 meter run allows for a challenge and a party.

“A 10K is a sort of middle of the road distance where you can be a beginner runner, beginner walker, and enjoy the event,” says Kenah.

Enjoying the event is the goal.

Whether you call it 10K, 10,000-meters, or six-point-two-miles, it’s the distance between you and a slice of Atlanta history.

READ: AJC Peachtree Road Race: Riding the wave of success

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