Every year, the Peachtree Road Race presents a new challenge for Ty McCormack. On Monday, it was the unusually excessive morning heat — almost 80 degrees — for the 10-kilometer Independence Day race through the streets of Atlanta.
“I’d say it probably was the warmest it’s been in any Peachtree I’ve run,” said McCormack, who started with the Elite A Division around 7 a.m. in the world’s largest race of its size.
Even with the heat, McCormack, a 23-year-old North Hall High graduate, kept up his reputation as one of the top runners in the nation. For the fifth time since 2011, McCormack was the first Georgian to cross the finish line, running a time of 30 minutes, 47 seconds.
He was 12th overall out of a registered 56,913 participants. McCormack didn’t run the Peachtree in 2015 due to his participation at the same time in the World University Games in South Korea.
No longer bound to an NCAA institution and a semi-professional runner, McCormack was starting in the elite field in the 2016 Peachtree. Having run the Peachtree many times before, McCormack had a good familiarity of the course and said he was able to pass a handful of other runners during the final half of the race.
Afterward, McCormack was recognized on stage for running the fastest time of any Georgia resident. McCormack anticipates this being his final time running as a Georgia resident. Even though he works as a financial planner in Orlando, Fla. now, his Georgia license made him eligible at the end of Monday’s race, he said.
“The Peachtree is a first-class event,” said McCormack. “That’s the reason why they’re able to attract the elite runners in the world to compete.”
This year, McCormack even had to perform a drug test after the race to be eligible for his reward, which is standard operating procedure for professional runners in this race put on by the Atlanta Track Club.
As top Georgia finisher, McCormack collected a peach blossom branch glass trophy to mark the accomplishment. After the race, the Gainesville native hopped in his car for the long drive back to Orlando.