AJC Peachtree Road Race is a celebration for Atlanta Council chief Doug Shipman

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman will run his fifth consecutive Peachtree Road Race in 2024. Courtesy

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman will run his fifth consecutive Peachtree Road Race in 2024. Courtesy

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman will be running his fifth consecutive AJC Peachtree Road Race this year. In his Instagram bio, Shipman describes himself as Public Servant/Atlanta City Council President/GirlDad/Runner, and when it comes to the 55th Running of the Peachtree those roles will all come together.

That Shipman became a runner at all is a bonus after surgeries for a torn ACL (2003) and ruptured Achilles (2010), but he got serious about the activity in 2020 and expects to run his fifth marathon in late May. On July 4, the 51-year-old will likely again strap on the “race cam” he’s worn the past few years to record footage for the City Council’s social media, and it may be put to special use as he plays “Wingfather” to his oldest daughter, 12-year-old Lena, when she joins him on the start line for her first Peachtree.

Shipman shared his thoughts of the iconic race.

Q: What does the Peachtree mean to the city?

A: It’s such a celebration of running in Atlanta. You see older folks, younger folks, fast runners, slow runners, walkers, families, people doing their first Peachtree, people doing their 40th. Then you have all the people lining the course, playing music, ringing cowbells and holding signs. It’s really a party.

Doug Shipman addresses the public during a June 2023 Atlanta City Council meeting. Shipman was elected council president in November 2021. (Miguel Martinez /miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com)

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Credit: Miguel Martinez

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the race?

A: I so love running past the “blessing of the runners” (by Dean Sam Candler of the Cathedral of St. Philip about 2 miles into the course). It’s such a wonderful moment of all those other things coming together. The other best part is running up the steep hill with all the patients lined up in front of the Shepherd Center cheering for you — although the truth is, you’re cheering for them. And it’s great to see people thanking the police, fire department and folks from public works, high-fiving them for their service.

Q: You’re trying to talk me into running Peachtree for the first time. What do you say?

A: The hallmark of the Peachtree is that there’s a place for everyone. The people who are walking it for the 15th time are just as much a part of the race as the elite athletes at the front. Whoever you are, you will find your pace and you will find your people.