A journalistic experiment: Twittering the Peachtree!

Having lived here 25 years and covered the AJC Peachtree Road Race every way you can cover it — I’ve done the start, the finish, the winners, the average runners and the spectators, and once I even rode the media truck — I’m trying to think of some other way to do it this time. And here’s what I’m thinking:

My name is Tom Sawyer, and I should let you folks do it for me.

I’ll be there Saturday, but I know from having been there before there’s no way for one person to grasp the totality of a 6.2 mile race that includes 55,000 participants and hundreds of thousands of watchers. Can’t really write the big picture when all you’re seeing is one corner of the frame. So I’m thinking, in this new wired world of ours, there might be a workaround.

I’m thinking Twitter.

I’m thinking you folks — runners, friends and relations of runners, non-affiliated observers, anyone with a Twitter account — should send me your Peachtree 2009 experience in a maximum of 140 characters. (Runners don’t have to Tweet while running; y’all can wait until you’re riding MARTA back to your car, or even until you’re home and refreshed.) If you’d care to send me a photo link, that would be doubly dandy. I’m thinking this might make for a nice little pointillist view of our grand Fourth of July mosaic.

I’m thinking this is a great idea because, to be frank, I have no other ideas. But whaddaya say we try it and see? On Twitter, I’m @markbradleyajc, and I’ll be monitoring TweetDeck on MY NEW IPHONE all morning. And then, assuming we get enough responses, I’ll try to hammer it all together and whip up a 21st Century look at a 40-year-old Atlanta tradition that will, I fervently hope, run in the Sunday AJC and be posted on ajc.com.

So, in the spirit of fireworks and cookouts and apple pie and Chevrolet, I’m asking: Help a journalist out. Run the race, or watch the race, and send me your Tweets! I thank you in advance, and MY NEW IPHONE thanks you as well.

14 comments Add your comment


July 1st, 2009
4:27 pm

I’m gonna guess you REALLY like your new iPhone!

It’ll be my first Peachtree, so I’ll gladly help you out! I’m not blessed with an iPhone, so it’ll have to wait until I get home, showered and comfortable! Nice out-of-the-box idea, BTW!

Mark Bradley

July 1st, 2009
4:30 pm

I got so much grief about having old TVs that I’m unleashing some stored-up venting via MY NEW IPHONE. (Although I should say that I had the world’s oldest cellphone until nine days ago.)

Thanks, Dawg4life. I’m much appreciative.


July 1st, 2009
4:35 pm

I was planning on tweeting some updates on my wife (she’s running) and the scene anyway. I’ll happily add an @markbradleyajc to them for this experiment of yours!

Mark Bradley

July 1st, 2009
4:55 pm

Thanks, David. I’ll look forward to it.

Atlanta Track Club

July 1st, 2009
5:11 pm

Hey Mark! Great minds think alike. The Atlanta Track Club (@ATLtrackclub) has been planning to tweet the 2009 AJC Peachtree Road Race as well. Between the two of us, we should have this great Atlanta tradition covered in cutting-edge fashion. See you on the 4th!

Biff Pocoroba

July 1st, 2009
6:36 pm

Will you be at Philips tweeting from the Beyonce concert tonight?

Mark Bradley

July 1st, 2009
6:41 pm

No, but I’ll be happy to share my impressions of Demi Lovato and David Archuleta, who performed at Gwinnett on Monday.


July 1st, 2009
7:03 pm

Stay on the right side Dawg4life or I’ll run you over like Roddy Jones running down the sideline.


July 1st, 2009
10:12 pm

Heed the warning Dawg4life – if you’re in the middle to left side and barking in any way when I’m sprinting by, you’ll wind up with my Mizuno prints on your backside!

There you go Mark – how about next year – set up a booth at the finish line and make it a Tech/Ugay competition. First 100 runners to finish/make it to the booth, and wanting to participate with earn points for their school of choice. Betcha Tech would win in a landslide!

Bryan G.

July 1st, 2009
11:03 pm


You know that the Peachtree is a race and not an internet based video game, right?

I’ll give UGA folks the edge in athletic endeavors, but if the PRR was a Halo game, Pillow Fight, Virgin-a-thon, or Dungeons and Dragons game, I would definitely give you the nod.


July 1st, 2009
11:08 pm

sooooo, Mark… Big fan, but with a question. In the past 25 years, when you were covering all things ATL, did you actually RUN the race? The answer doesn’t affect my feelings on your ability to cover sports, but it seemed like you left that one thing out in your list! :) If you haven’t run the race, you should! It took me 28 years, but I finally did it.

fin c

July 2nd, 2009
11:17 pm

anybody in the 1a group here

[...] I want to repeat my request from earlier this week: If you’re running the AJC Peachtree Road Race or watching or volunteering or just passing [...]

[...] I want to repeat my request from earlier this week: If you’re running the AJC Peachtree Road Race or watching or volunteering or just passing though [...]