Why I run: Dick Biggs

Dick Biggs

Age: 67

Hometown: Gainesville

Why do you run the AJC Peachtree Road Race? I ran 30 of them and my wife Judy completed 25 AJC Peachtree Road Races. At first, we ran for times when we were younger and more competitive. Then, we ran as an annual goal to stay in shape. Eventually, we ran just to prove we could do it. But when we reached our 60s, they kept placing us at the rear because of our age. It took 90 minutes just to get to the starting line! In short, it became too much of a hassle, so we "retired" from the Peachtree but not from running. We still do 15-20 miles each week up at beautiful Lake Lanier.

When and why did you start running? I started running to get in shape for Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., in 1964. Except for a three-year period in the early 1970s, I've been running for nearly 50 years. Judy started running shortly before we met in 1982 and it's how we met. Two friends thought of us due to our mutual interest in running. We married in 1984.

Tell us about your first AJC Peachtree Road Race? An old Marine buddy and roommate had run the race in 1977 when I was out of town. I knew if he could do it, so could I. It was a much smaller race then and my times were good enough to get up near the front.

How many AJC Peachtree Road Races have you run? Thirty for me. Twenty-five for Judy.

What story do you tell friends or family who ask about running the AJC Peachtree? You need to do it at least one time, but get in shape. In the early days, you saw very few walkers.

What's a tradition you observe at the AJC Peachtree? In the early years, we'd stay at a Buckhead motel just to be near the starting line. We'd go the running expo the day before and have a nice dinner that evening with some friends. It was a fun time.

What's your favorite race T-shirt? My first in 1978! I wore it for weeks after that race.

Do you run alone or run in a pack? Together.

What do you like about the AJC Peachtree? It's an event more than a race and very patriotic.

What would you like to see changed with the AJC Peachtree Road Race? They've perfected it now, but the size is way too big. That's probably not going to change due to the popularity.