Thursday marked the 50th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race and it turned out to be a historic one.
Billed as the world’s largest 10K, a $50,000 bonus was on the line for the elite men and women runners and wheelchair athletes if they were able to break the course records for their divisions.
All four of them did.
Daniel Romanchuck got things started as he blazed the course in a record time for the wheelchair athlete men division in 18 minutes and 11 seconds. Manuela Schar followed his performance setting the record for wheelchair athlete women with a performance of 21 minutes and 28 seconds.
Bridgid Kosgei set a new course time for the elite women, running it in 30 minutes and 22 seconds, 10 seconds faster than the previous record set in 2002.
The men’s running record had stood since 1996, but it was shattered by Rhonex Kipruto who finished the race in 27 minutes and 1 second.
The excitement of the record breaking performances was contagious as spectators came out to keep up the energy. Sandra Madison lives along the route and Thursday marked her 11th time heading out to watch. Madison said she comes out for a few reasons.
“To celebrate the runners, to wish everyone a happy 4th of July, and participate in all of the action,” she said, yelling good morning and cheering on many of the anticipated 60,000 runners.
As for weather conditions, what was expected to be a hot morning turned out to be on the participants side. Though humid, the sun was blocked by clouds throughout most of the early part of the raise and temperatures hovered around 76 degrees.
Roads affected by the race were expected to remain closed until noon.