Craig Hoover is in a running family. His dad, Jim, always boasted that he was running before running was cool.
Thursday’s AJC Peachtree Road Race is Hoover’s 40th. He turned 50 on Saturday. The race’s 50th year running set up an appropriate time for anniversary and to reflect.
Running started with Jim Hoover. At 85, he’s run over 40 Peachtree Road Races, with his first being in 1974. Craig and his sister, Kit, went to the Marist School and were runners, before Kit went to the University of North Carolina to continue her career and Craig went to the University of Florida to do the same. But no matter where he’s run, it’s the road race on the Fourth of July in Atlanta that matters the most.
“Everyone always wants to know what your time was at the Peachtree,” Craig Hoover said. “You always have extra motivation to bang out a good one.”
Although Hoover acknowledges that running the race hurts more every year. He also acknowledge that “pain is good” when it comes to running. He said this year’s result was one of his slowest (42 minutes, 37 seconds), but he boasts a streak of being in the top 1,000 of runners, outside of the elites. He’s done that for every one of his 40 races.
Hoover works for Live Nation, an entertainment company, as the vice president of national sales. With that, he travels a lot. Wherever he travels he likes to run and his favorite place to run (outside of Atlanta, of course) is Balboa Park in San Diego.
Although he said he has all the T-shirts from each, he has trouble tracking them all down. He acknowledged he’s done a better of job keeping track of them as of late. He’s also proud of the mugs he has received for placing among the top 1,000 runners.
“It’s the ultimate tradition, there’s so much about the race,” Hoover said. “It’s what Atlanta is all about. I look forward to it every year.”
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