Though the race has been run since 1970 with the “original 110,” Gordon County and Calhoun were represented with over 50 participants, and one elite runner, 21-year-old, Calhoun local James Box, completing the six mile race in just over 35 minutes.
Box was an elite amongst runners from Kenya and many other places as one of 60,000 other participants to run the historic race.
Over 50 men and women from Calhoun and Gordon County participated in the event, several having run the race before.
Calhoun local Amanda Wallin completed the six-mile race with her brother, Robert Wallace, with a time of 1:20, a time, which she was very proud of.
“I ran the Peachtree for the second year in a row with my younger brother. You get a since of accomplishment after you are done,” said Wallin. “It is a course that is both physically and mentally challenging because of the heat, humidity, and hills. I knocked 13 minutes off my time from last year.”
Matthew Talley participated in the race with friend Steven Duncan, and explained a large sense of patriotism was with him as he ran the race this year. After competing six years ago, Talley came back this year to compete in the race for the second time.
“My most memorable moment in the race this year was running alongside a gentleman carrying a large “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. I stayed close by him for a little over a mile and at one point we reached a group that started cheering “USA, USA, USA!” Talk about a motivator! A profound sense of patriotism overwhelmed me, which helped me overcome that summer heat and finish the race strong,” said Talley. “I would encourage everyone that enjoys running to run the race at least once in their life. As for me, I’ll be signing up again next year.”
Another Calhoun runner is 17-year-old Alex Brady, who says he has dreamed of running the Peachtree road race for the past several years, having also participated in large runs sponsored right here in Calhoun, Gordon County. Brady completed the six mile race in just over 46 minutes.
“One of my favorite things about the Peachtree is that you have such a wide variety of participants, including some of the top runners in the world, and each of the 60,000 participants has a story to tell on why they run,” said Brady. “The closer it got to July 4 this year, the more I learned how much tradition was rooted in this race. I definitely am planning to run this race for future years and hope to get family and friends involved so I can start my own Peachtree tradition.”
Tradition is indeed something that Calhoun, Gordon County brought to Atlanta for the historic race. Calhoun City Administrator Eddie Peterson has been running in the Peachtree for 35 years, Vicki Spence, executive director of the Calhoun-Gordon County United Way also competed this year among many others.