July 4, 2013

Thousands run Peachtree Road Race in the rain


Associated Press

— A steady drizzle of rain on the Fourth of July helped thousands of runners keep cool Thursday for an unusually soggy Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.

Up to 60,000 runners hit the city streets with thousands more cheering them on from the sidelines during the 10K race, an Independence Day tradition in Atlanta that’s billed as the largest road race in the U.S.

Peachtree participants haven’t seen raindrops too often in the event’s 44-year history. Thursday marked the first time the race was run in the rain since 1994, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Some runners, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, found the weather refreshing.

“It ended up being a perfect day to run,” Reed told WXIA-TV (http://on.11alive.com/114GKEf ) after crossing the finish line soaked with both perspiration and precipitation.

Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia was the men’s winner, finishing the 6.2-mile course in 28:04. The women’s division winner was Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya with a time of 32:07.

The race began under yellow-flag conditions warning runners to use caution because of the wet weather.

Extra police officers and surveillance cameras were also placed along the route to beef up security just a few months after the Boston Marathon bombing. Atlanta, of course, was stunned by a bomb attack during the 1996 Olympics. Reed said the city was determined to hold the road race and make sure participants were as safe as possible.

“The most important thing we could have done to show respect for the folks in Boston was to carry on and have our race,” Reed said.