This year’s AJC Peachtree Road Race comes with some changes and lots of excitement

ATLANTA — Thousands of runners are getting ready for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.

They are excited since it’s back on the normal course after being virtual last year.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones learned there are changes in place to help keep people safe.

One of the big changes this year is that there will be no spectators allowed at the finish line.

Despite the changes, the runners Jones spoke with said they can’t wait to get out and run.

Two of those runners are Toni Fulton and Miles Norton from South Carolina.

“We are excited to do our first Peachtree race together,” Fulton said. “This is our second race. We met during COVID, so this is ‘Corona bae.’”

“Corona Bae” and Fulton said they are happy the race is back to being in person this year and the change to the race won’t bother them.

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The couple told Jones they are fine with it being a two-day race instead of the usual one.

“I think two days more people may participate because some people want to do it a day before a day after,” Norton said.

Another change: family and friends won’t be there to greet you at the finish line like in the past.

“So we have a perimeter around the park which prevents those who are not participating from coming in this year,” Race Director Rich Kenah said.

Kenah said it is to help keep people safe and spread out.

Fulton said she doesn’t think it’s a big deal.

“You know, you finished and that’s all you need. You got your t-shirt at the end, you’ll be good,” Fulton said.

Organizers said they want participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19. They say about 80% of those people registered so far have gotten the shots.

Those who are not vaccinated will be screened by COVID-19 sniffing dogs.

If the dog detects the virus, you will be out of the race.

Dan Kolber told Jones that he has been running the race for years and has no problem with the safety measures.

“It was gone last year. This is the most fulfilling thing since this pandemic hit,” Kolber said.

Race officials said the COVID-19-sniffing dogs will be out at the start of the race, which could cause some delays.

They are asking people to please be patient.

Race officials are expecting about 13,000 runners for Saturday and another 17,000 on Sunday.