Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The 44th running of the Peachtree

Billed as the world’s largest 10-kilometer road race (that’s 10,000 meters or 6.2 miles, folks), the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta has been held every Fourth of July since 1970. Approximately 110 runners participated in the first one. In 1975 there were over 1,000 runners, and by 1980 more than 25,000 people participated. Golly gee whillikers, Mabel! Like Topsy, it just grew. (This is a reference to a minor character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom's Cabin and not to an elephant electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903. For those of you who are confused, join the club.)

This year more than 55,000 runners officially registered for the Peachtree, plus a few thousand more ran unofficially (that is, unregistered) just because they couldn’t stay away.

This year also, for the first time ever, a Rhymeswithplague ran in the race.

My second son, at the ripe old age of 47, decided to apply for one of the coveted slots a few months ago and was accepted. (A note to all the unofficial participants: Only official participants receive the equally-coveted official T-shirt afterward.)

Here are a few zanies from the 2006 race (click on photo to enlarge):

Licensed under the licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

Well, the race IS held on the Fourth of July, after all, so a few Statues of Liberty are to be expected.

And here is a runner’s-eye-view of the 2007 race (click on photo to enlarge):

Licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0 ( Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license).

In recent years, both the Men’s and Women’s Divisions have been dominated by runners from Kenya and Ethiopia. No U.S. man has won since 1991 and no U.S. woman has won since 1995. Still, it is a fun way to spend the morning of Independence Day. Or so I’m told. I certainly will never find out on my own.

Here is my son (on the right) and his neighbor before the race:


My son, the young Mr. Rhymeswithplague, finished with the following electronically-timed stats:

Official time: 1:00:45
OverAll Place: 14474 of 55714
Gender Place: 9970 of 28032
Age Division Place: 1217 of 3307

Not bad, I would say, for someone who (a) is 47 years old and (b) began running for the first time in his life just a few short months ago. Needless to say, Mrs. RWP and I are extremely proud of him.

And here is my son (on the left) and his neighbor after the race:



I don’t know whether their faces are registering joy, relief, or sheer pain. Did I mention that my son is 47?

To read more about the Peachtree Road Race, all you have to do is click here.

12 comments:

Helsie said...

Good on him for giving it a go.

richies said...

I have a cousin who ran in the race but had no idea it was such a big race.

An Arkies Musings

Elizabeth said...

Your son has your handsome good looks even after completing such a feat. You are right to be proud of him - preparing for any race in a few short months takes commitment and dedication.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I think that your beard is more appealing than your 47 year old son's beard. He had the word "Knights" embroidered on his beanie hat - from this may we assume that he himself is a "Sir"? By the way, I am sure that older men than you were participating in the race so I will sponsor you $5 to sign up for next year's race! Come on bloggers let's get behind Bob - pledge your support for him in 2014! He's raising money for the poor and needy! Go Bob! Go Bob!

rhymeswithplague said...

I hate to tell you this, Yorkshire P. but your enthusiasm is a bit premature and a bit misplaced. Better you should make a wager on the All-England Hadrian's Wall to Land's End Pancake Race next Shrove Tuesday.

Hilltophomesteader said...

Oh, yeah, I'm in for $5 and whaddya say, Yorkshire Pudding, that we sponsors all wear Mr. RWP (Go Bob Go) Tee-shirts besides? We can tailgate picnic, sipping lemonade and eating fried chicken whilst Bob sprints on past, his beard flowing in the breeze...his breath in a wheeze....can he do it? Oh, jeez...
Go Bob, Go Bob, Go Bob.......

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Hilltophomesteader - Yeah - we need to whip up more support and Bob needs to begin his training regime this summer. I'm going to buy him an elasticated headband like the ones John McEnroe used to wear. Will you sort out the T-shirts? Go Bob Go! After all, it is Bob's Christian duty to run this race! The poor and needy are banking on him.

rhymeswithplague said...

HTHS and YPDNG, take your $5 and buy a meal for some poor and needy person close to your home. The Peachtree Road Race is not a "Run for the Cure", not a charitable event, not a way for individuals to raise money through sponsorships. There are no sponsors. If your application is approved, you get in. If it isn't, you don't, or at least you're not supposed to. If you had an official number and you cross the finish line, you get a T-shirt. Plain and simple. Tailgate picnics are for University of Georgia fans. Elasticized headbands are for Georgia Tech fans. I felt it was my Christian duty to inform you before the hoopla got out of hand.

Hilltophomesteader said...

Mr. RWP, plain and simple, you are a spoilsport! I already had buyers for a half dozen T-shirts!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

It is too late Mr Bob - I have already got your entry in and today purchased a red, white and blue headband from "Decathlon". It is already winging its way to you. Just go with the flow man! Ellie will be so proud of you when you fulfil this challenge. She might even make you a meatloaf!

Hilltophomesteader said...

Technically, it's either enter the race (and we picnic & wear the T-shirts) or you'll have to take up Tuvan Throat Singing and then Ellie will toss you out on your ear for sure! Just think, once you've run the race (and won...) you can hang up your hat..er..headband and RETIRE a winner!!! Go Bob!

rhymeswithplague said...

Helsie, Richies, and Elizabeth, how rude of me to delay so in responding to your comments! Please forgive me. You are all appreciated more than you know. I shall try to do better in the future.