Bill Thorn no longer dodges cars along Peachtree Street as he runs The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.
Instead, he made his 47th appearance Monday as one of the only people to run every race since it debuted in 1970.
“I’m just thankful that I am able to live this long and still be able to complete this race,” Thorn said. “I used to be able to fluff it off as no problem. But it is tough, and if I didn’t do what I did every day, I couldn’t do it.”
Thorn resides in Tyrone and is 86 years old. He finished this year’s race in 88 minutes, with his granddaughter by his side.
After the race, Thorn was honored as one of the pioneers of the AJC Peachtree Road Race on stage after he finished. He said that his experience with 150 other runners in 1970 was a highlight in his life.
To him, it was one of his favorite moments in his race career.
“If you weren’t here in those first few races, you wouldn’t know how to compare it,” Thorn said. “All the people practically knew each other, and somewhere among the first four or five races, it kind of blossomed out.”
Thorn credits two reasons as the key to his success. He said working out each day and coaching at Landmark Christian School helps him prepare for the race.
“We started the school in 1989, and I’ve been coaching all my life,” he said. “Some of my kids ran today with me.”
Thorn hopes to continue this tradition and make it back next year to run again.
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