By Ken Sugiura, firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most integral elements of the AJC Peachtree Road Race spent Wednesday morning in a meeting in Indianapolis.
The Very Rev. Sam Candler, whose holy water blessings have cooled and delighted Peachtree runners since 1999, was not at his traditional post in front of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead because he was at his denomination’s national general convention.
It took four priests – Wallace Marsh, George Maxwell, Thee Smith and Carolynne Williams – to replace him.
When they realized the conflict, “we knew we were going to sub for him,” Marsh said. “We knew how much he wanted to be out here because everyone loves it.”
Candler began blessing runners in 1999, when the race happened to fall on a Sunday. Rather than object to the disruption, Candler chose to bring service out to the church’s lawn and began his tradition of tossing holy water and offering blessings upon runners, many of whom veer to the