Everyone knows that the July 4, 2013 running of the Peachtree Road Race was the 44th
renewal of this Rite of Summer. However, 2013 Peachtree participants from Clayton State University can claim to have more than a century’s worth of Peachtrees under their Nikes, New Balances, Sauconys and Adidas.
Nine members of the Clayton State community gathered on the Quad this afternoon for the University’s annual Peachtree Road Race Finisher photo. In between swapping stories about the race, it was determined that the nine runners present for the photo had participated in more than 125 years worth of Peachtree Road Races.
Led by Assistant Track and Cross Country Coach Hugh Toro, who has run every Peachtree but the first two (that’s 42 consecutive years, people), the Clayton State Nine, who include President Dr. Thomas Hynes, have not only accumulated a total of 128 Peachtree Road Races, but every one of the five present have run in at least five of the nation’s largest 10K.
While Toro may be Clayton State’s Peachtree Champion (only one person anywhere has run more Peachtrees), the rest of the crowd all had good reason to show off their fashionable black shirts from this year’s race. Clayton State student Yao Seidu, who is also editor of the University’s student newspaper, The Bent Tree, made some news himself – he’s run so many Peachtrees that he’s lost count. He thinks he is up above 30, however. President Hynes ran his 16th
Peachtree last week, and the only reason he hasn’t run more is that he was otherwise teaching at the University of Louisville for 18 years prior to 1996.
Other notable runners included Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management & Academic Success Dr. Mark Daddona, who was running his 10th
Peachtree, and Associate Director of Counseling Services Shiraz Karaa, who was running her ninth.
“It was great weather,” says Karaa of the 2013 race. “Overcast, with a light drizzle near the end. However, there was a quagmire in Piedmont Park.”