ATLANTA -- May 26, 2021 -- Championship road racing returns to Atlanta at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race on the Fourth of July. Three of the six members of Team USA's Marathon team -- Aliphine Tuliamuk, Jake Riley and Abdi Abdirahman -- will chase the USATF 10 km Championship title just weeks before representing the United States at the Olympic Games in Japan.
For Tuliamuk, it's the first competition after two life-changing events; her first Olympic berth and the birth of her first child. Tuliamuk was the winner of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon in February of 2020 in Atlanta. Following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games, she and her fiance welcomed a daughter, Zoe, in January.
"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race is one of my favorite days of the year. What better way to celebrate running and the USA?" Said Tuliamuk, the 2017 Peachtree and USATF 10 km Champion. "This year will be even more special since my fiance Tim and our daughter Zoe will be with me in Atlanta. This is our first family trip to Atlanta, and my first race since the Trials. I cannot wait to get Zoe's first photo under the Olympic Rings."
Riley, who has raced sparingly since placing second in the Trials will use the race as a final tune up for the marathon in Sapporo, where the hot and humid weather conditions are expected to be similar to those runners face in Atlanta on the Fourth of July.
"Going into the Olympics we knew we wanted a race with a high level of competition, about 4-6 weeks out from the race, ideally in hotter, more humid conditions. Looking at the schedule, Peachtree fit the bill perfectly," said Riley who last raced the Peachtree in 2014. "Plus, Atlanta will always have a special place in my heart after how the trials went, and the times I've raced there before. I think I'm racing at a higher level now too, so I'm excited to see how I stack up now; hopefully my previous experience will give me an edge."
Tokyo will mark the fifth Olympics for Abdirahman. He's been a staple of the Peachtree for more than a decade and has run two of the top five fastest times ever run by an American in the race (2007, 2008).
Held virtually in 2020, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race will be back on its traditional course this summer. However, it will be held over two days to reduce crowd size on the start, course and at the finish. Other COVID-19 safety precautions can be found here.
The elite competitions including the U.S. 10km Championships and the Shepherd Center Wheelchair division will only be held on July 4. Daniel Romanchuk¸ winner of the last three Peachtrees and seven-time Peachtree champion Tatyana McFadden are the top wheelchair athletes in the field which marks the 40th running of the Shepherd Division.
"There are a lot of things that keep drawing me back," said Romanchuk, whose 2019 Peachtree winning time of 18:11 is an event record. "I like to climb, so climbing Cardiac Hill is not an opportunity I want to miss. So, I will keep coming back as long as I can."
Full elite fields will be announced in June.
"Nothing says 'the Peachtree is back' like having the commitment and support from athletes who are preparing for the biggest event of their lives -- the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Rich Kenah, Race Director of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. "We have always said that Running City USA is about Olympic legacy and Olympic future, but on the Fourth of July it will be about the Olympic present."
As it is a U.S. Championship, only U.S. citizens and members of USATF are eligible for prize money in the footrace. The top finisher in both the men's and women's footraces and wheelchair races will receive $7,500. A bonus of $10,000 is also available for any winner in the four divisions who breaks the event record.
Athletes will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and undergo screening. There will be limited contact with fellow athletes, fans and members of the media in Atlanta. Those interested in taking part in the race should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for the mass participation race is closed. Registration for the virtual race is open through June 7.
Fans not in Atlanta are encouraged to participate in the USATF 10 km Virtual Challenge presented by Toyota, which opens June 23 and runs through July 7.
The 52nd Running of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race will be broadcast locally in Atlanta on WXIA-TV 11Alive. It will be streamed nationally at 11Alive.com.