Reynolds ready to run in Peachtree Road Race for the 29th straight year

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 12:18pm
By: The Citizen

One tradition that many runners all over Atlanta have is to run the Peachtree Road every 4th of July. This tradition has been going on for 39 years. The race starts at Lenox Mall and the runners traverse down Peachtree Road to the Piedmont Park area totaling 6.2 miles. This year, Valerie Reynolds will be running as she has done for the past 28 years. She started running Peachtree while a college student at Georgia Tech. 28 years later, she still looks forward to the 4th of July and her trek down Peachtree.

A member of the Atlanta Track Club and the Women’s Competitive Team, Reynolds served on the Board for the Atlanta Track club for four years, president for two years. She was also a member of the Peachtree Road Race organizing committee for two years, one of the privileges of being president. Reynolds is now Treasurer and Board member of the Atlanta Track Club Foundation, the sister organization of The Atlanta Track Club, which provides grant monies to youth running clubs throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Reynolds’s streak of running the Peachtree Road Race (running every year without missing) is long but not that uncommon. Andy Carr, registrar for the Peachtree Road Race, stated, “For a woman to run that many consecutive Peachtree Road Races is not that ordinary. Men make up the majority of runners and there seems to be more stability in running The Peachtree as a male. There are several men who have long-time steaks such as Reynolds’s but not many women.” There is Bill Thorn, cross country coach for Landmark Christian Academy, who has run every single Peachtree Road Races since its inception in 1970.

Thorn and Reynolds have more than Peachtree Road Race in common. Ironically, they both once lived in the same house, at least 12 years apart, in Peachtree City. “I was looking at the Deed Records for my home one year and sure enough there was Bill Thorn’s name, which I recognized because of his Peachtree Road Race fame “says Reynolds. She still owns the house which is currently leased by a running coach. Now it houses occasional out of town runners from Kenya and Ethiopia who will also be running the Peachtree this year.

Reynolds lives in Senoia, where she has built a cross country course for youth cross country meets in the fall. Reynolds has run almost 70 marathons and completed an Ironman in 2005.
“I can’t think of anything I would rather do on the 4th of July than run Peachtree Road Race. It is definitely a tradition I plan to keep for some time to come.” Reynolds says. She runs and works in Peachtree City, where she is employed as a realtor for Prudential Georgia Realty. She can be reached at 770-318-8165 (cell phone) or email at

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