Why We Are The Most Run-Crazy City in the Country: Strength in numbers. Mass motivation. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Call the prevailing mentality what you like. But there is no denying that Atlanta-area residents (and visitors!) love to run.
The evidence is everywhere! Even the most chronic couch spud cannot label this assertion as merely simple-minded and subjective civic pride. After all, Scarborough Sports Data indicates that almost 25% of Atlantans consider themselves a runner or a jogger! Further, Runner’s World magazine has lauded Atlanta as one of “the best places to be a runner” in the U.S. on multiple occasions. We’ve hosted the Olympic Marathon. We’re home to the world’s largest 10k race (Peachtree). We have nationally recognized coaches as long-time residents. Clearly, we take this seriously around here! Now, for those who have their eyes even half open when they pass by Memorial Park in Buckhead, Riverside Drive in Roswell, Columns Drive in East Cobb or a myriad of other places in and around Atlanta, the statistics, and acknowledgments above may be impressive. But they are not surprising. So let’s take a look at, and get familiar with, why Atlanta is arguably America’s most enthusiastic running town.
According to Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), there is no other city in the U.S. that boasts more persons registered in an official running club than Atlanta. That’s easily understood when you consider some of the statistics about the local running club offerings.
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If you think about Atlanta’s personality, it, too, solidly indicates why we are passionate about our running. Of course, some of the traits are more positive than others. For starters, real cold weather wimps notwithstanding, you CAN run outdoors year round in Atlanta. I promise you, with the appropriate attire, you will not get frostbite when it’s 41 degrees outside. Also – – and there are those who may disagree with this- – an abundance of hills make for an abundance of good cardiovascular workouts. The same cannot be said for a pollen count above 2,000 or a code orange smog alert. Want another indicator? O.K., we have beautiful neighborhoods and tree-lined streets. Lots of them. More every day, it seems. These are inherently good for running. Cities that, instead, have snow-capped mountains or sandy beaches with rolling waves probably tend to have fewer runners. We may not have surfing on the Chattahoochee River, but there is plenty of running alongside!
If you like big organized running events, Atlanta is your mecca. And this is just another reason to call Atlanta home if you like to run. Of course, it starts with the Peachtree Road Race. Our July Fourth holiday tradition is, again, the most populous 10-kilometer race in the universe. Sixty thousand registrants. More than 100,000 spectators. Three-thousand volunteers. Sixty-five thousand bottles of water. Five hundred thousand recyclable paper cups… and, yes, six hundred portable toilets. But we’re not just Peachtree. Our Thanksgiving Day rite, is one of the largest and oldest official 13.1-mile treks in the U.S. Kaiser Permanente Corporate Challenge hosted over 25,000 runners and walkers. Further, our Race For The Cure always attracts 15,000+ participants, and raises millions for breast cancer research and treatment! To no one’s dismay (or, perhaps, disappointment), when you have numbers, you have options. Take a look at all of the Atlanta racing options on our race directory to pick your next adventure!
So, there you have it. Atlanta runs. And runs. And runs. Here’s to you doing your part and the role that you play in making this the greatest running city on the planet!