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Celebrating Fourth of July on the Road
The Peachtree Road Race Celebrates 50 Years
When I was 14 years old, I started my own Fourth of July tradition when I ran the Peachtree Road Race for the first time. Technically, it was the one-mile Anthem Peachtree Junior race, but my eighth grade buddies and I were just excited to be out there, charging down the cordoned-off Atlanta streets in our T-shirts, shorts, and running shoes, with our race numbers pinned proudly to our chests. I’ve hardly missed a Peachtree Road Race since. With the exception of a few of the years I was in law school at Mercer and one summer of studying abroad, I’ve made it a point to show up in Buckhead near Lenox Square Mall every year to run alongside the 60,000 other participants who have made Peachtree the world’s largest 10K. I love seeing all of those people from Atlanta and the rest of Georgia come out in force to show their solidarity on the Fourth and have a bit of fun together. It’s a fantastic display of patriotism, and people never fail to make it festive. I always get a kick out of
is over and I’ve cheered the other runners to the finish line, I like to watch the television coverage of the race. On a humorous note, the Nathan's Famous Hotdog Eating Competition airs on ESPN around noon, too. My family fires up the grill for an old-fashioned cookout to finish off the Fourth, but I’m never really that hungry for our home-grilled dogs after watching those people chow down for that competition.
While I always have a lot of fun at Peachtree, between scouting out the best costumes and watching my fellow racers indulge in the doughnuts, pizza, and beer that bars and restaurants hand out along the race route, it’s also one of the most motivating days of my year. The event includes a Wheelchair Division, so that folks with disabilities from around the world can participate as well, and it’s inspiring to see them start the race which I know from personal experience is challenging enough on two feet. Seeing them defy their limitations and finish the 10K makes me want to push myself harder. Many people who participate in that event are veterans, too, and their
the racers dressed like celebrities or the Statue of Liberty, not to mention the firemen wearing full gear. In fact, there are so many racers in and out of costume that my dad, who used to run the race with me, would always mail in our applications the moment they became available so we’d be sure to get a spot. The race is capped at 60,000 runners, which makes competition for slots intense. This year, I took over that job, and I can’t wait to join my fellow racers in celebrating Peachtree’s 50th anniversary. After the race
perseverance brings home the concepts of strength and independence that the Fourth of July stands for. My sign-up sheet for this year is already in, and I’m excited to hit the road. From all of us here at Kevin Patrick Law, happy Fourth of July!
“I LOVE SEEING ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE FROM ATLANTA AND THE REST OF GEORGIA COME OUT IN FORCE TO SHOW THEIR SOLIDARITY ON THE FOURTH AND HAVE A BIT OF FUN TOGETHER. IT’S A FANTASTIC DISPLAY OF PATRIOTISM, AND PEOPLE NEVER FAIL TO MAKE IT FESTIVE.”
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