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.