After running The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race 25 times, Lamar Perlis looks for ways to keep the experience fun and fresh. During his 26th race Wednesday, Perlis made it a mission to find competitors he and his longtime running partner, Dr. Peter Donnan, could pass.
“I said, ‘Peter, we’ve got to pass somebody. I’m so slow. I’m not going to take this. We gotta pass.’ So we found people we could pass a little bit,” the 93-year-old said after the 10K. “But not many.”
There aren’t many runners who have been around as long as Perlis, as most of the Peachtree participants are around a third of his age. Donnan chalked Perlis’ continued appearances in the road race up to “something special about his physiology” and a healthy lifestyle. The course veteran wasn’t suffering any knee or back pain at the end of the race, but he felt absolutely “spent.”
“This one really drained me. Totally drained,” he said before adding that he felt “really good” after finishing. “You get a high that you can only get by doing this. It was lots of fun.”
The original game plan was to “shuffle” the Peachtree, but with support for spectators and encouragement from Donnan, Perlis jogged the whole course.
The 2:26:02 he spent on the streets this year may be the last time Perlis takes on the race, but he isn’t counting 2019 out just yet. He felt better than he did in 2017 this time around and may return next Independence Day to add another T-shirt to his collection.