Thirty-two years after planning to run the AJC Peachtree Road Race together, Peggy Kohlmeyer and Julie Buckley finally crossed the 10th Street finish line Tuesday.
Even the heat and humidity they experienced in the “U” group couldn’t put a damper on their reunion.
“The breeze was wonderful,” Kohlmeyer said of the race.
“The shade was fantastic,” Buckley added.
“The spirit was there and for us, this event, it wasn’t to run it and master it, it was just spending the time doing it together,” Kohlmeyer said.
Now 52 years old and still passionate about running, both former University of Georgia students decided they didn’t care about their times. Instead the two walked the July 4th Peachtree and talked, “the entire race,” the two said in unison.
The original plan to run the race in 1985 was thwarted when Kohlmeyer was involved in a car accident with a drunk driver in Athens when the two runners were seniors at UGA, but their plans took a three-decade detour.
When the year 2000 and Kohlmeyer’s 15th anniversary of her accident in Athens came around, the sixth-grade language-arts teacher knew she had to do something to celebrate being alive.
“I said, Julie and I need to do that together,” Kohlmeyer said. “I said something needs to happen because I’m still here. We’re still here. Life’s still going on.”
Although the main event of the weekend reunion was the race, the best moment of the Independence Day festivities for Kohlmeyer, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., and Buckey, from South Florida, happened before the race when the two friends saw each other for the first time in nearly 25 years while picking up their numbers at the Georgia World Congress Center.
After being face-to-face for the first time in 25 years came naturally, the former Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters are already plotting their next adventure.
“I told her, you know when we cross the finish line my question’s going to be, ‘What next?’” Kohlmeyer said.
While neither Kohlmeyer or Buckley had an idea on what their next adventure would be, they were determined not to wait another 25 years.