The AJC Peachtree Road Race, an Independence Day tradition, will be postponed until Thanksgiving Day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta Track Club, the race’s organizer, had opened registrations March 15 in the midst of widespread pandemic closures with cautions that cancelation or postponement could happen. The delay is the first in the race’s 51-year history.

The 10K race begins at Buckhead’s Lenox Square mall with a route including Midtown, Piedmont Park and Centennial Olympic Park. It draws tens of thousands of participants.

“As Atlanta and the nation continue to take precautions to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, we understand that Peachtree participants, volunteers, medical staff and the other first responders who keep them safe need more time to prepare for this year’s race,” said Rich Kenah, executive director of Atlanta Track Club and the race’s director, in a press release. “We are thankful for the opportunity to move forward together with all of Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day in a responsible and safe format.”

Thanksgiving this year is Nov. 26. The Peachtree Road Race will replace another race scheduled for that day that will be canceled, the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K, Mile and Dash.

More than 45,000 people had registered for the race already, according to the press release. They will remain registered. According to the press release, registrants will also have the option to complete the race “virtually”; move their entry to 2021 at no charge; transfer to a new participant; donate their registration fee to Atlanta Track Club’s community initiatives; or receive a refund.

Registration will reopen on Aug. 31-Sept. 6 for members and Sept. 7-13 for non-members.

The Track Club will seek to do something “special” on July 4 without the race, according to its website.

For more information, see the Track Club’s website here.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.