Olympic Gold Medalist, U.S. Champion Join AJC Peachtree Road Race Field: Gwen Jorgensen, Lopez Lomong to chase U.S. titles in Atlanta

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Lomong_LopezFV1-USAout18.jpGLopez Lomong winning his first 10,000 meter title, Des Moines, June 21, 2018, photo by PhotoRun.net

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10,000 meters in the country. It is the seminal race on the Fourth of July. Nearly 60,000 runners and walkers compete in the fabled Atlanta road race. An iconic tshirt each year, given ONLY to those who finish under 60 minutes, has been legend for decades. I recall a story about Peachtree Road Race from iconic Running Magazine ( published by Nike in 1979-1981), and the fabled Nike poster, 'The Battle for Atlanta'.

Jorgensen_Gwen-USAout18.jpGGwen Jorgensen, 10,000 meters, seventh place, US champs (yep, she's won Olympic gold in the Triathlon), photo by PhotoRun.net

This year, 10,000m champ Lopez Lomong and Rio 2016 Triathlon Champ Gwen Jorgenson will be featured in a very fine field on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

What do I like about the AJC Peachtree Road Race? The Atlanta Track Club likes to try new things. They support US Athletes with the US 10k Champs and bringing in iconic athletes to this fine race. On our Independence Day, and with the daily partisan politics within which we find our lives, showcasing an athlete like Lopez Lomong shows the promise and reality of our country. And that is, as someone much smarter than I has said, is "a good thing."

Lopez just won his first 10,000m title, after three titles at 1,500 meters (2009, 2010 outdoors, 2014 indoors). With PBs from 1:45.58 at 800m, and 3:32:20 for 1,500 meters, to 13:06 for 5,000 meters, Lopez has serious wheels. A proud member of the Bowerman TC, Lopez Lomong told the assembled crowd in Des Moines that he was "still learning about the distance", after he won his first 10,000m title. Lopez ran his first 10,000m at Stanford Invitational on 30 March 2018, finishing second in 28:21.37, then fastest US time of year. Just so you do not have to exhaust your memory, Lopez Lomong made history in winning the 10,000m and 1,500m US titles.

Gwen Jorgensen is fascinating. Another fine member of the Bowerman TC (mmm, could it be, partly, the thoughtful coaching of one Jerry Schumacher? we think so), Gwen has moved her focus from the Triathlon to the marathon. She won her first 10,000mm at Stanford on 30 March 2018, and has taken seventh in the US Championships. Gwen Jorgensen wants to make the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon team. We wish her well. Also, check out her video series: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQaItQ0LLVu5987SD88s2w, a fantastic video series)

Make sure you follow the 2018 AJC Peachtree Road Race. It is a rite of Independence Day.

Olympic Gold Medalist, U.S. Champion Join AJC Peachtree Road Race Field

Gwen Jorgensen, Lopez Lomong to chase U.S. titles in Atlanta

June 28, 2018 - ATLANTA - 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Gwen Jorgensen (Portland, OR) will chase a national title at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4 in Atlanta, which for the second consecutive year will serve as the USATF 10 km Championship for men and women. Jorgensen, the reigning Olympic triathlon champion as well as the 2014 and 2015 World Champion has retired from triathlon to pursue professional running.

"I am thrilled to be racing in the AJC Peachtree Road Race," said Jorgensen. "I am really excited to race the 10K on a hot and hilly course."

Jorgensen, whose 10K road personal best is 32:12, will face defending AJC Peachtree Road Race champion Aliphine Tuliamuk (Flagstaff, AZ), who has won U.S. titles this year in the 25K and the half marathon. They will compete against previously announced athletes such as Sarah Pagano (Boston, MA), last year's runner up; Stephanie Bruce (Flagstaff, AZ), who placed third in the 10,000m in Des Moines and Sara Hall (Flagstaff, AZ) whose 2:26:20 at the 2018 Ottawa Marathon made her the 10th fastest American woman of all time in the marathon. Molly Seidel (Boston, MA), who was runner-up at the 2017 USATF 5 km Championship, will make her Peachtree debut. Allie Buchalski, a Johns Creek, Georgia native who placed second in the 5,000m at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, will make her professional road racing debut on her home turf.

Fresh off his national title in the 10,000m on the track one week ago, Lopez Lomong (Portland, OR) will compete for a 10 km title on the road for the first time as the AJC Peachtree Road Race will be Lomong's 10K road debut. At the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month, Lomong unleashed a furious kick on the final lap to become the only man in history to win U.S. titles in the 1,500m and the 10,000m on the track.

"The Peachtree is one of America's most amazing events," said Lomong. "It is my honor to come and run the streets of Atlanta. It's a U.S. championship so it would be amazing to win it, but even to be a participant is massive."

Lomong, the torch-bearer for the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, will join previously announced contenders like U.S. Half Marathon Champion Chris Derrick (Portland, OR), his teammate in the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and Bernard Lagat (Tucson, AZ), a five-time Olympian who smashed the AJC Peachtree Road Race masters course record (28:42) in 2017. Also in the men's field are the top two American men from the rain-soaked and raw 2018 Boston Marathon: Shadrack Biwott (Folsom, CA), and Tyler Pennel (Blowing Rock, NC). Reigning USATF 25 km champion Sam Chelanga (Colorado Springs, CO) and 2016 Olympic marathoner Jared Ward (Kaysville, UT) will also compete. Last year's Peachtree runner-up Shadrack Kipchirchir has withdrawn from the race, as has Abdi Abdirahman.

"We are excited to welcome athletes who have won American titles, set American records and represented the United States around the world to Atlanta's celebration of running and country on July 4," said Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club and Race Director of the AJC Peachtree Road Race. "The AJC Peachtree Road Race has a rich history of crowning the legends of road racing and that history will continue in the race's 49th running."

The 2018 AJC Peachtree Road Race prize purse of $70,000 will be awarded exclusively to American athletes, with the top male and female each earning $10,000. The winners' names are placed on the Peachtree Cup.

Complete fields for the USATF 10 km Championship at the AJC Peachtree Road Race are attached here:2018 AJC Peachtree Road Race Elite Field - FINAL.pdf

The 49th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race will take place on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. It will be broadcast live in the Atlanta metro-area on WXIA-TV. A tape-delayed broadcast will air on NBC Sports at 8 p.m. that evening. For more information, visit peachtreeroadrace.org.

About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 28,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) - the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Atlanta Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 40 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club's All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.

About the AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a 10K event that takes place every Fourth of July in Atlanta, Georgia. The first Peachtree was held in 1970 and featured 110 finishers. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is now the largest 10K running event in the world with 60,000 participants. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is perhaps most famous for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt, which is handed out to all the event finishers. For more information on the AJC Peachtree Road Race visit peachtreeroadrace.org or AJC.com/peachtree.

About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the leading source - both in print and online - of news, information and advertising for metropolitan Atlanta, reaching a total print and online audience of 1.6 million people each week. Every month, nearly 6.9 million unique visitors access the newspaper's websites, including AJC.com, myAJC.com and accessAtlanta.com. Our newsroom is the largest in Georgia with more than 150 journalists. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is part of Cox Media Group, a publishing, digital media and broadcasting subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises.

About USATF
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country's No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit usatf.org.

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