110704 Atlanta: Start line of the AJC Peachtree Road Race Monday July 4, 2011. More than$110,000 in prize was up for grabs in the 42nd running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race Monday July 4, 2011. More than 60,000 took part in the race. Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com
Photo: Brant Sanderlin
Photo: Brant Sanderlin

Remembering 110 finishers of the very first AJC Peachtree Road Race

On one warm, 80-degree Independence Day in 1970, 150 runners lined up and made history.

They were racing in the inaugural AJC Peachtree Road Race — what would become, today, the largest 10K in the world, with more than 60,000 runners. (More than 500 times the race's original size.)

The storied race has become a July 4 tradition in Atlanta. Of that original group of 150 runners, 110 finished the race. Of those, three were women. Jeff Galloway was the first person to cross the finish line. 

It is with those original 110 runners in mind that we count down the days until the 2017’s AJC Peachtree Road Race, and remember that very first  race 47 years ago. 

The course took them 6.2 miles, beginning at the corner of Peachtree Road and West Paces Ferry Road. At 9:30 that morning the “original 110” — after paying an entry fee of $2 — ran from Buckhead to the Equitable Plaza downtown.

The road race was a year in the making, an effort by the Atlanta Track Club to create a more inclusive atmosphere, where all runners were celebrated. It was the brainchild of the club's Tim Singleton, who suggested something else: Giving the finishers commemorative T-shirts.

It actually wasn’t until the following year that those coveted T-shirts were handed out. And In 1976, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution became the race's title sponsor.

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