The Coveted T-Shirt

T-shirt finalists for 2010.

Five finalists in the 2010 race shirt design contest.

Today is the last day to vote for this year’s AJC Peachtree Road Race official race shirt!

Here are this year’s five finalists in the design contest. Click on the above link and pick us out a winner… or make 55,000 people very upset.

Ahhh… the storied history of the Peachtree race t-shirt: causing people to suffer through Georgia heat, humidity and hills since 1971.

It amazes me that a piece of cotton continues to own such a place of honor in our city. Many people complete the event, or sneak into the event (horrible) just to proudly don their Peachtree t-shirt each year. Whether patriotic, abstract, or downright pastel, the shirt takes a place of the utmost importance in THOUSANDS of closets. It’s a conversation starter, a badge of tradition, and good fodder for t-shirt quilts.

Throughout the years I’ve developed quite a love-hate relationship with my Peachtree shirts. No offense to our current designers, but I prefer the old school simple designs of the 70s and 80s to the more recent over-produced and detailed ones. Oddly enough I barely even wear the race shirts I have earned since 1997, yet can’t seem to part with them. Holding the race so close to my heart, my race shirts are memories, documentation of an event I enjoy each year.

[Maybe it's akin to the situation with ugly babies - something only a mother who's earned it through trial and triumph could love.]

So, from year to year, my own coveted Peachtree shirts stack up in my closet – blues and peaches and yellows and whites – my very own Atlanta lineage.

The 1982 PRR race shirt.

The 1982 PRR race shirt.

Even though I’m not lucky enough to own this one myself, my favorite race t-shirt is the classic design from 1982. Less is more in a very Atlanta-centric way. Best year ever! (Pure coincidence that I was also born that year, along the race course at Piedmont hospital.)

Looking back at all the winged feet, peaches, American flags and Atlanta skylines, what’s your favorite, or least favorite, race t-shirt design?

9 comments Add your comment


April 30th, 2010
6:35 am

dang cool stuff man.


April 30th, 2010
8:08 am

I don’t like any of them. They are too busy. the top one looks like ’60s drug shirt, but the words get lost. The second one’s design doesn’t relate to anything. The third one unfortuantely looks like someone bending over. The fourth one is too busy. And the last one loses it because the wording is so weird.

Mel White

April 30th, 2010
11:13 am

Wow! 1982 was the first year I volunteered, at the water stop near the 4 mile mark. The volunteers’ shirt design was the same except it also had ‘volunteer’ below the design and was blue. Still have mine somewhere. Haven’t cared for the designs in recent years; they all look so similar. Maybe you should get the kids who design the Peachtree Jr shirts to to this one, too.


April 30th, 2010
12:37 pm

I truly love the Peachtree, and run it every year since 94 for the sheer fun of the event, and of course the Tshirt. I prefer the shirts are always white, and I want the design to be Atlanta and patriotic, but in the end I want the T-shirt, which I only wear once a year, the day of the race


April 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

Mel – Were you at the water station by the Peachtree Christian church and the Jewish temple? Just after the 4 mile mark? That’s my old stomping ground! My mom’s good friend Susan Montgomery started heading up that station while she worked at Coke sometime between 1980-1982. I was actually “volunteering” there myself starting in 1983 (as much filling of cups as one can do when they stand 2.5′ tall and wear the volunteer shirt like a dress).

I really do wish shirt designers would come up with something simpler in the future!


May 10th, 2010
5:13 pm

Bring back the ‘82 design. Now THAT’S a good looking shirt!

Richard James

May 20th, 2010
12:56 am

The 1982 PRR was my very first. That shirt is framed and hanging in my home office. The other 23 or 24 are hanging in my office. I have been able to participate almost every year since 1982, and I am also looking forward to this year, although I now walk more than run. But it is now an annual family affair because I am fortunate to have my much younger baby brother in law run/walk with me, just to do the race together. We have enjoyed every shirt we have earned, but I too agree the 1982 is my very favorite. I would love to see it return.


July 1st, 2010
9:43 am

I think Glen should design the shirts next year since he is SUCH the critic… He must not realize these are talented artists who are hand painting some of their elements. Could you link us to a painting of a peach that you’ve done recently? Or maybe you could send us a link to a text design you’ve done in photoshop or indesign. Thanks Glen!

Lauren Dieterich

July 1st, 2010
10:13 am

@Rochelle… sounds like you may be one of the artists? While negative opinions hurt, remember we are allowed to have our own opinons. One person’s idea of beauty is different from another’s, and there’s no way to make 55,000 people happy. I certainly don’t have near as much talent as the artists here – I am miserable when working with Quark or InDesign. So I definitely commend the artists for their hard work and willingness to take a chance and submit their designs.

That being said, the final 3 choices are growing on me. I’m kinda hoping for the crazy swirly font one at the top… different.