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North Hall grad McCormack is 1st Georgian to finish in Peachtree Road Race

POSTED: July 4, 2012 5:35 p.m.

It wasn’t until well after he had finished that North Hall grad Ty McCormack, 19, found out that he was not only the top Georgia finisher for the second consecutive year at the Peachtree Road Race on Wednesday in Atlanta, but the fourth American overall.

“I had no idea I was the fourth American until 3 hours later,” he said. “I’m just really happy today. Nobody younger than me beat me, and I’m really happy to be the fourth American.”

McCormack finished 26th overall in the Fourth of July race with a time of 30:31, 30 seconds better than his time last year despite having less time to train for his seventh running of the annual event through the streets of Atlanta.

The Clemson cross country and steeplechase runner said this year, with a summer job working long days at AT&T in Atlanta, he hasn’t had the same amount of time to devote to training for one of the few races he runs outside the college calendar. He attributed his performance on simply being more experienced.

“Honestly I think I’m just another year older,” he said. “It’s only my fourth year running, and I’m just improving a little bit each day.”

McCormack said his increased workload this year — he estimated he had walked around 5 miles through the city for his work the day before — led to a stop at the medical tent immediately after the race to re-hydrate.

That didn’t mean he had been slowing down as the 10 kilometer race wore on. On the contrary, he said he ran the second half faster than the first, passing by a number of professional runners along the way.

McCormack added that he felt tired at several points along the way but that the heat wasn’t as bad as he had worried it might be, even if the humidity still gave many runners reason to slow down.

“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “Very humid, but kind of cloudy.”

McCormack ran the race along with his mother and sister. He said his mother has been running the race for awhile, and brought her son along seven years ago, where at first McCormack said she had to go slow as to not leave him behind.

Now, having just completed his seventh running of the race, McCormack is one of the state’s elite runners. And yet, he’s not just a runner. He’ll be flying out to China in September for a four-month, international business internship while he redshirts at Clemson.

He won’t be missing out on his running, however, as he intentionally chose a school in China located in what is known as the Asian capital of running, McCormack said.

And, even if his running career eventually takes him all over the world if he chooses to run professionally, he still knows where he came from.

“I really wanted to do this for the city of Gainesville, to put Gainesville in the spotlight,” McCormack said. “I’m from Gainesville, Gainesville’s always been a part of me. That’s my hometown, it means a lot to me.

“I wanted to put it on the national and even the worldwide map. It was really an honor for me to do as well as I did.”


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