2017 AJC Peachtree Road Race winner Aliphine Tuliamuk, Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen and other runners in the elite division at a media conference Tuesday, July 3, 2018 before the race, scheduled for the Fourth of July. (Tess DeMeyer/AJC)
Because this year will be Jorgensen’s first time running the Peachtree, she isn’t quite sure what to expect on race day. She is excited to “race on U.S. soil on Independence Day” and plans to “put (her) nose in it and see what (she) can do,” but she doesn’t have a finishing time in mind.
“My goal is to finish and feel like I’m totally depleted, feel like I gave it everything I had,” she said. “Just to go out there and push my limits. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be hot. It’s going to be humid. Just kinda see what I can do under those conditions. Especially with (the 2020 Olympic) marathon trials being here, it will be nice to kind of get a little bit of a simulation of the city and what it’s like to race here.”
The exposure to Atlanta before the Olympic Trials is valuable experience Jorgensen can’t replicate while training with the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore. Though she is accustomed to the high altitudes of the Pacific Northwest, running in the humidity that will surely hang over the course is a foreign condition and could impact her race.
“I heard it’s really hot,” she said when asked the most challenging part of the race. “I think just everything about it will be difficult, but something that will make it better will be all the people that come out and cheer.”
Supporters along the course have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Olympic champion, but they will have to arrive early as Jorgensen will be off and running with the elite women at 6:50 a.m.