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No More Thanksgiving Marathon For Atlanta

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 24, 2010

Some runners compare canceling the annual race to doing away with Christmas.

Last May, the Atlanta Track Club quietly announced that they would move the Atlanta Marathon, traditionally held on Thanksgiving day, to October 30, 2011. The race’s time limit will also increase from 5:00 to 6:30.

“We are excited to open up the field to runners of all abilities,” track club executive director Tracey Russell announced. According to Russell, the changes are in keeping with the club’s mission, which is to “inspire and engage the community to achieve health and fitness through  health and running.”

Some runners did not take note of this announcement and expected that the marathon, a city fixture since 1963, would be held on Thanksgiving–a tradition going back to 1981.

Runner Pat Binienda has been taking part in every Atlanta Marathon since 1980. In order to not break with tradition, he plans to run two laps of the  Atlanta Half Marathon, which takes place on Thanksgiving.

“I don’t wish to bite the hand that feeds. I do grieve for the indelicate way the South’s oldest marathon was unceremoniously dropped and, of course, the loss of same,” another disappointed marathoner, Sam Benedict, said.

For More: Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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