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North Hall grad takes state's top honors in Peachtree Road Race
McCormack finished 3 minutes off overall winner
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Ty McCormack can expect to receive a crystal peach in the mail.

As the top runner from Georgia in Monday's Peachtree Road Race with a time of 31 minutes, 3 seconds, McCormack, a 2010 North Hall High graduate and dual sport runner for Clemson University, will receive this token to remember his performance from the Atlanta Track Club.

He finished 47th among all men in the field of approximately 60,000 runners in the 6.2-mile run that weaves through the streets of Atlanta.

"It's definitely exciting to finish as the top runner from the entire state," said McCormack, who dined on cheesecake the night before the race. "I definitely didn't come into it taking it as seriously as one of my college meets."

When he finished the race he wasn't aware of getting an award for his performance.

"I was getting texts from people after the race that I didn't get my award," McCormack said. "But by then, we were already back in Gainesville."

Sammy Kitwara of Kenya won the race for the second time with a time of 28:05, less than three minutes ahead of McCormack.

He sprinted to the finish line, winning just ahead of fellow Kenyan Mathew Kisorio. Kitwara's time was 28 minutes, 5 seconds.

The 24-year-old Kitwara also won the Peachtree in 2009. He came in eighth last year. The top women's racer was Werknesh Kidane of Ethiopia, who finished in 31:22.

McCormack, 18, would like to have his name etched among the list of Peachtree's overall winners, but thinks it's a more realistic goal to aim for being the first American man to cross the finish line, which comes with a cash prize.

The last American to win the Peachtree Road Race was Ed Eyestone in 1991.

This year's top US finisher was 25-year-old Benjamin True of Hanover, N.H., with a time of 28:28.

Running a 10-kilometer road race is a somewhat unfamiliar distance for McCormack. College cross country races are 8K, except for nationals which are the 10K distance.

McCormack, who ran among sub-seeded runners, started the Peachtree with what he called a conservative pace and ran the first three miles at about 16 minutes.

However, the last half of the race that trends uphill, he finished with a 4:50 pace per mile.

"I don't know if it was superhuman strength or what," McCormack said. "I just left it in God's hands."

And when he finished the race there was quite a bit of confusion about what he had just accomplished.

Since McCormack was the first of the non-elite runners to finish the race and head to the tent for his classification, many were thinking he was the overall winner.

"People were going crazy and taking my picture because they thought I won it," McCormack said. "People were chanting USA, USA!"

He was running the race with a friend Brett Richardson, who runs at the University of Georgia. McCormack's girlfriend, Laura Mancin, finished with a time of 48:08.

Each of the past two years, McCormack has shaved about two minutes off his time from the previous year. In 2010, he ran a 33:01 and finished at 35:27 in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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