Archive for July, 2010

…Another One for the Record Books

While we’re all still basking in the glow of our silver Peachtree t-shirts, and whether by laziness or celebration our orange D-Tags still hang on our laces… I want to thank the Atlanta Track Club and the AJC for another great year frolicking down Peachtree Street.

As always, it was humbling seeing the wheelchair racers take off, and inspiring to rub elbows (from afar) with the world class runners. I tried chasing down Dire Tune for an autograph, not only a top finisher in the 10k, but an amazing marathoner as well. Trouble with being star-struck with runners, is that you can’t quite chase someone down who has the ability to run a 10k 20+ minutes faster than you.

The Dieterich clan and significant others before the start.

The Dieterich clan and significant others before the start.

Overall, Sunday was a successful day. I met my brother and his lady for a nice pre-race walk from Brookhaven to the start line. After pausing for the national anthem, and maybe hiding a few tears (you try singing the Star Spangled Banner on Independence …

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A Little Travelin’ Music, Please

“I’m going to say right here that I’ll get my time under an hour, well aware that the world will be able to see if that happens on” – My blog, posted 7:24 pm April 14, 2010.

“[A better number] would greatly improve my shot at reaching the 60-minute goal I’ve worked toward for 12 weeks.” – My blog, posted 6:36 am June 22, 2010.

You win this round, Gebre Gebremariam.
I can’t say I’m surprised the Ethiopian beat me and the rest of the field to the finish line of the 2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race. Even though I made a brash challenge to Gebre and the other elites last week, all I really hoped to do was to run the course in less than 60 minutes.
When I called up the race results on Sunday afternoon, I immediately wished I had picked a slightly different goal. Next to my name the tote board read: 1:00:00.
If I had only set my goal to finish “in an hour” instead of “under and hour” readers of this blog would have taken it to mean the same …

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Winning T-shirt design for Peachtree Road Race

Allison Bennett of Carrollton designed the winning T-Shirt design.

Designed by Carrollton's Allison Bennett, a student at West Georgia

Designed by Carrollton's Allison Bennett, a student at West Georgia

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Gebremariam wins Peachtree Road Race

Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia won the 41st AJC Peachtree Road Race on Sunday, winning a sprint to the finish line of the 6.2-mile race through the streets of Atlanta. He beat Kenya’s Peter Kirui by a half-step in one of the closest finishes in the race’s history, winning in a time of 27 minutes, 56 seconds.

A pack of eight men was reduced to six as the runners stretched for the finish line coming down 10th street. The six were cut to two as the runners reached the corner of 10th and Charles Allen. Gebremariam was running just his second 10k street race.

Ed Moran was the top U.S. men’s finisher in 28:19.

“I had no idea where the Americans were around me in the last mile,” Moran said. “I was feeding off the great competition.”

Lineth Chepkurui, the defending champion, won the women’s race again in a time of 30:51, just a few seconds off the course record (30:32).

“I was feeling good,” Chepkurui said, who raced last week in Kenya. She said she got tired toward the end, or she may …

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McFadden wins women’s wheelchair at PRR

Tatyana McFadden won the women’s open wheelchair division of the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Sunday.

McFadden’s previous best finish was 2nd.

“The course conditions were excellent, very smooth,” she said.

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Cassidy wins wheelchair title at Peachtree Road Race

Josh Cassidy of Canada won the men’s open wheelchair division of the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Sunday. His unofficial time was 18:54.

Cassidy’s previous best finish was 2nd. This was his 5th Peachtree.

Cassidy said he made his move going up the hill and broke away.

He described the weather conditions as perfect.

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Some cool Peachtree Road Race facts

Some cool numbers:

  • 3400 volunteers work at the Peachtree Road Race.
  • More than 700 portable toilets along the race route.
  • Fastest men’s time was 27:04, by Kenya’s Joseph Kimani in 1996.
  • Fastest women’s time was 30:32 by Kenya’s Lornah Kiplagat in 2002.
  • Coolest starting temperature was 62 degrees in 1986 and 1989.
  • Warmest was 80, several times.
  • More than 550,000 paper cups and 65,000 bottles of water will used during race.
  • most popular T-shirt size is large, making up 29 percent of the shirts that will distributed.
  • Runners from 48 states and D.C. registered. Hawaii was one.
  • 32 percent of the runners are competing in the race for the first time.

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The Final Countdown

The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race; it’s to test the limits of the human heart.
- Bill Bowerman


With apologies to the 80s hair band Europe, we’ve arrived - the final countdown. The gauntlet has been thrown. The opportunity to do work has passed, and the only thing between us and the start line at Lenox Mall is a mere two days.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Before we know it, we’ll be pinning numbers, affixing timing chips and walking towards the start line. The days just prior to races always give me pause. They force me to consider why I choose to race, why I choose this path of being a runner. It’s hard to articulate, so I have boiled it down to feelings instead of reasons. The feelings that running, preparing and then racing give me.

I live for this.   

I live for the feeling in your stomach that comes race morning. The one where excitement and nerves and fear all mix together in one glorious pit of nausea. The visceral reaction, the overwhelming accuity …

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In It to Win It (Or at Least Beat 60 Minutes)

I’ve run the AJC Peachtree Road Race many times and I tend to get the same postmortem question from people I see afterward.

“How did you do?”

If I sense I can spoof someone unfamiliar with the race, I usually say, in astonished disbelief, “I won!”

I know the dedicated running audience that reads this page will find it hard to believe anyone could fall for that. But I’ve gotten more than a few, “REALLY?” double takes.

Not many people would have batted an eye in past years if I had claimed to finish the 6.2 miles in less than an hour. But with my undisciplined approach to training leading up to the past 20 Peachtrees (that’s me with the cigar), I had about as good a chance at finishing under 60 minutes as I did winning.


This year I’ve got a very good shot at finishing under 60 minutes, although challenging the Kenyans may have to wait until Peachtree 2011. Here are key events that brought me to the point that I should be able to shave 15 minutes off my

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