By Tim Sullivan

Sherwood Forest resident and WSB-TV news anchor Justin Farmer served as the ceremonial starter for the inaugural Beltline Race Series 5k at Tanyard Creek last month.

Next up for the series is the Beltline Southwest 5k on July 16, which features the historic West End and Westview neighborhoods. And on Dec. 3 there will be a Peachtree qualifying 10k that covers the stretch of Beltline between DeKalb Avenue and Piedmont Park.

I caught up with Farmer for an interview after the race.

In addition to being the ceremonial starter for the inaugural Beltline Race Series 5k, you are a member of the planning committee.  How did you get involved with the project? (run.beltline.org)
Since coming to Channel 2 in 2008, I have been enthusiastically following the Beltine’s progress. Running along the Beltline just seems obvious and I was thrilled to help with the running series.

The turnout was awesome and the course was really interesting – akin to a cross country race. The tech shirt was top notch! Are you a runner yourself?
I do like to run and I eagerly watched construction of the section near Tanyard Creek Park. I think my wife and I were among the very first on that section of Beltline. It’s fantastic – the bridges and how it meanders along Tanyard Creek.

Ever do a broadcast where it’s all business on top – suit jacket and tie for the camera, but the bottom half is ready for a quick transition to a post-work run?
Running shoes, yes. Or if it’s a really big show, sometimes I go with cleats.  Just in case.

Who would win a footrace between you and Jovita Moore?
Hey, seriously, Jovita is in shape! She does some sort of pre-dawn boot camp. Don’t mess with her.

Do you listen to music while you run? If so, what’s currently in rotation?
If I’m running to release stress, I go with symphony music. If running to sort of get high on life, I go with something rock ‘n roll, more modern than classic. I really like [Internet radio site] Pandora.

I’ll try that. I’ve decided that running to podcasts of [anchors] John Pruitt and Monica Pearson is informative, but not great for my split times. What other charities are you involved with?
Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta, The Georgia Star program for the state’s top students are two of my favorites.

You and I share an alma mater in Boston College and I’m not going to say who is older, but in 1991 one of us was a senior preparing for a lifetime of nightly TV appearances and gigantic billboards. The other guy was a freshman wondering why he ever thought History of Architecture would be an easy elective…

You took that? Well, I took art history just to avoid math. There was some quality sleep happening in that class. You know [Falcons Quarterback] Matt Ryan is another BC alum in Atlanta so it has been fun to watch him play.

I love to run along the Charles River when I’m up in Boston for a visit.  Do you think the Beltline will be the exercise destination of choice in Atlanta for years to come?
Yes, I am confident the Beltline will be the place for pre and post-workouts, running, walking, socializing. I used to live in Dallas and the Katy Trail, much smaller in scope than the Beltline, really attracts an active crowd.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.