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Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race going virtual

Tour de Georgia Stage One

MACON, GA - APRIL 16: The peloton rides through the streets of Macon during Tour de Georgia Stage One from Peachtree City, Georgia to Macon, Georgia April 16, 2007 in Macon, Georgia. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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The largest 10-kilometer road race in the United States will be run virtually in 2020.

The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, which has been held on the Fourth of July since its inaugural event in 1970, shifted to a Thanksgiving date in hopes of staging the race during the coronavirus pandemic. It normally attracts some 60,000 runners.

But the Atlanta Track Club now says the race will not be run down the city’s famed Peachtree Street because of safety concerns. Georgia has been one of the nation’s hardest-hit states during the pandemic, recording nearly 250,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,700 deaths.

“As coronavirus has spiked in recent weeks here in Georgia, we recognize that this decision is the best and only responsible way forward,” executive director Rich Kenah said in a statement.

The track club now plans a virtual event that will allow runners to experience some of the race’s traditions and compare their times with others who take part.