ATLANTA - Runners have made the 6.2-mile trek down Peachtree Road each Fourth of July for 50 years, but that streak will now be broken.
Back in May, the Atlanta Track Club made the decision to postpone the Peachtree Road Race until Thanksgiving Day because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We still are very disappointed that we won't be able to celebrate the Fourth of July on Peachtree as we have done for more than half a century now," said Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah.
Peachtree Road Race (FOX 5)
Now ATC officials and the Atlanta Police Department have asked people to stay off the course Saturday not only for social distancing, but also because traffic will still be flowing.
"[We have] a very specific request to respect the fact that the event has been postponed and not go out and run the course tomorrow morning," Kenah explained. "It's just not safe and by gathering en masse, we put first responders in the line of fire when we don't want to. We want them focused on coronavirus response now."
Instead, they encourage runners and walkers to get into the Peachtree spirt by choosing their own course and their own distance and then posting online using #MyPersonalPeachtree. The ATC has also launched a campaign called "World's Largest 10Kindness," and encourages people to do something for others between now and the rescheduled November race.
"A few weeks ago I, as the race director, was starting to doubt myself and say, 'Hey, could we have actually had the Peachtree on the 4th of July?' But what's clear today with the spike in coronavirus in Georgia and around the country is that we did make the right decision to postpone," said Kenah.