There will be something special waiting to greet Peachtree Jr. participants when they cross the finish line in Piedmont Park this year: Olympic and World Champions.
Besides being cheered on by some of the top athletes in the world, each of the estimated 3000 young runners on May 17 will—for the first time in the 28-year history of the Atlanta Track Club event—have the opportunity to sample new track-and -field disciplines under the hands-on guidance of Olympic superstars.
"At Atlanta Track Club, we believe our best chance at getting kids active through running is to introduce them to multiple disciplines in the sport, hoping that the experiences we offer will keep them engaged and involved with running in some way," said Rich Kenah, executive director of Atlanta Track Club. "Local Olympic stars will not only reward them for their great effort in Peachtree Jr., but hopefully inspire them by giving them a close-up look at where that effort can take them. Who knows, maybe one day some of our Peachtree Jr. runners will win Olympic medals of their own."
Among the Olympic athletes expected at Peachtree Jr., a family-friendly event that allows kids to experience the fun of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, are:
- Adam Nelson, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2005 World Champion in the shot put. Nelson grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Athens, GA.
- Chaunte Lowe, the 2005 World Championships silver medalist and 2012 World Indoor Champion in the high jump. An NCAA Champion who competed for Georgia Tech, Lowe now lives in Loganville, GA.
- Dwight Phillips, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion in the long jump. Phillips is a life-long resident of the Atlanta area.
- Terrence Trammell, a two-time World Indoor Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 110-meter hurdles. Trammell, an Atlanta native, still lives and trains here.
Activities with these athletes will take place in the Piedmont Park Active Oval after children are reunited with their guardians.
The 28th Peachtree Jr. will kick off on May 17 in Piedmont Park with the Lil' Peach 50m Dash, for ages 6 and younger, at 8:15 a.m., followed by the Peachtree Jr. 3K (1.86 miles) at 9 a.m. Participants also get the opportunity to take part in the Peachtree Jr. Challenge, which awards scholarship funds to the top three organizations that sign up the most kids for the race. For more information, visit www.atlantatrackclub.org.
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 19,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Atlanta Marathon (atlantamarathon.org), and the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K (atlantahalfmarathon.org), Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club's All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.