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Peachtree Through the Years 1970-2019History

On July 4, 1970, 150 runners gathered at the old Sears parking lot on the corner of Peachtree and Roswell Road. Of those runners, 110 finished. The group, now known as the "Original 110," ran 6.2 miles through Atlanta to Central City Park in what would go down in history as the inaugural Peachtree Road Race.

2019 marks the 50th Running of what has become the world's largest 10K. Click here to view the Peachtree 50, 50 weeks of stories about the people, history and legacy of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

  • 1971- The first of the now famous Peachtree T-Shirts are handed out at the end of the race.
  • 1976- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution becomes the title sponsor.
  • 1978- Race finish is moved to Piedmont Park in front of the Bath House to accommodate the 12,500+ runners.
  • 1980- Race is capped at 25,000 participants. The limit is set due to the congestion on the course where it entered the park.
  • 1982- The Shepherd Center's Wheelchair Division is added. Since then the event has produced several world record-breaking performances by participants in the wheelchair division.
  • 1985- Julia Emmons becomes the Executive Director of the Atlanta Track Club and the Director of the AJC Peachtree Road Race. She will remain the director for the next 22 Peachtrees. The AJC also comes back as title sponsor and will remain title sponsor through the present.
  • 1987- First AJC Peachtree Junior is held.
  • 1990- New race cap of 40,000 is announced.
  • 1992- Race cap increases to 45,000 and race fills in nine days.
  • 1995- Race cap increases to 50,000, and the first AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt Design Contest is held. Carle Wattenberg, III is the winning designer.
  • 1998- Race cap increases to 55,000 participants.
  • 1999- Race finish moves to 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive due to sewer construction inside the park. The finish will remain there for the next eight years.
  • 2004- First overseas race is held in Baghdad.
  • 2006- After 22 years, Julia Emmons directs her last AJC Peachtree Road Race and retires from the Atlanta Track Club.
  • 2007- Tracey Russell takes over for Emmons as Executive Director of the Atlanta Track Club and directs her first AJC Peachtree Road Race. First USA Men's 10 km Championship is held in conjunction with the race.
  • 2008- Due to the drought, race cannot finish in Piedmont Park and is successfully moved to Juniper Street and Ponce de Leon Ave.
  • 2009- For the first time every participant is electronically timed and race finish returns to 10th Street.
  • 2010- Start waves are assigned by performance, expanding from nine time groups to 20 start waves. An official number transfer system is also implemented.
  • 2011- Race cap increases to 60,000. Online lottery system is implemented for registration.
  • 2014- First Kilometer Kids Charity Chase is held at the AJC Peachtree Road Race.
  • 2015- The Peachtree Cup team competition is introduced, featuring Team USA, Team Africa, Team Asia and Team Europe.
  • 2016- A 5K split time is offered for all participants for the first time.
  • 2018 - Bernard Lagat becomes the oldest winner in race history at the age of 43.
  • 2019 - With largest field in race history, event records fall in men's and women's wheelchair and footrace divisions with the following times: Manuela Schar (21:28), Daniel Romanchuck (18:11), Brigid Kosgei (30:22), Rhonex Kipruto (27:01)
  • 2020 - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AJC Peachtree Road Race is re-scheduled for Thanksgiving Day. The event is ultimately held virtually as the pandemic does not subside in time for a safe in-person event.