Perhaps it’s only fitting in a race that epitomizes Atlanta — with free peaches and ice-cold Coca-Cola handed out after the finish line — that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was among the participants in this year’s The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.
Bottoms finished the race in 1:15:58. After severely injuring her knee during her mayoral campaign last year, Bottoms said she was still working back into shape.
“Each year, my plan is to break an hour,” she said, “but somehow I get further and further away.”
For Bottoms, in his first year as mayor, this year’s Peachtree offers a different vantage point than years past.
“I was just thinking of what a blessing it is,” Bottoms said, on what it’s like to run the race as the mayor. “It really is incredible. I never thought I’d run in this capacity. So it really is an honor. It’s great to see 60,000 people coming out to celebrate Independence Day in Atlanta.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms heads toward the finish line at the AJC Peachtree Road Race
Her participation in the Peachtree this year doubled as an example to set for a healthy city, and a chance to help her friend and local rapper Jeezy raise money for his foundation.
That might encapsulate Atlanta in one sentence.
“What makes the Peachtree special is, it’s Atlanta,” Bottoms said. “To have the world’s largest 10K — 60,000 people out here. Largest road race in the world, largest road race in the U.S. Nothing says Atlanta more. Then to have the diversity, I would be surprised if you found that anywhere else in America.”