Atlanta

92-year-old runner who has competed in every AJC Peachtree Road Race retiring

ATLANTA — Way back in 1970, Bill Thorn, 92, ran in the very first AJC Peachtree Road Race.

He made it something of an annual habit. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people who have a Peachtree streak. Some even go as long as 20 to 45 years in a row.

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Thorn’s “the only person who has done every one,” Race Director Rich Kenah told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

Kenah says the world’s largest 10K will have 50,000 participants. It’s not quite as many as before COVID, but it’s close.

He also said security will be tight, with Atlanta police leading the way with state and federal officers helping out as well.

There will also be a full team of bicycle medics and fully equipped medical tents in case the expected intense summer heat causes problems.

As for the runner known as the Iron Man, Thorn has been named the Grand Marshal.

He won’t be running this time around, instead, he’ll ride in a convertible and step out to cross the finish line on foot for the 54th time in a row.

“This is going to be a relief,” Thorn told Channel 2 Action News.

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Thorn is known for much more than his running records. The longtime high school football and track coach is the winningest coach in state history. A Hall of Famer. He’s even carried the Olympic Torch. Twice.

It’s all in a new book about his life called “Thorn,” in stores this fall.

The man who wrote the book when it comes to setting records is going out on top.

“Does it take the pressure off?” Petersen asked.

“I would have to say so. I feel like I’ve been set free,” Thorn said.

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