Growing up in a family of runners, it was tradition for my mom and dad to run the AJC Peachtree Road Race every year. My grandparents and uncle would even drive from Florida to join us.
Naturally, our family’s annual tradition rubbed off on me. I walked the walk and dressed as a mini running adult in running shorts and singlets while other kids wore oversized t-shirts. I did my fair share of 1-mile fun runs without training. I’d go out and best the field, cruising by packs of kids who had sprinted the first 100 meters of the race.
From what I can remember, Atlanta Track Club’s Peachtree Jr. was the first race I really trained for and it will forever be the hardest race I had competed in at that time. We had a parent at my elementary school, who was an accomplished road runner (he ran in the Boston Marathon), and once a week he coached a group of us through a mini track workout on my school’s gravel track. I don’t remember liking the training, but it did help me during the Peachtree Jr.
One year after the race, while I stood around waiting for my brother to finish, I saw a lady with a camera and a notepad. I was one of those kids that loved being the center of attention (okay, it’s still true to this day) so I approached the lady and asked if she was a reporter. She was writing a story for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and I was interviewed! This was one of my proudest running moments at the time. Since it was written in print that I would come back to run the “big race,” the AJC Peachtree Road Race was stuck in my mind, even after my family relocated to Florida in 2003.
My first priority after moving back to Atlanta in 2012 – to run the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Winning a spot in the 2013 Lottery, meant so much to me. I was able continue my family’s legacy and run in honor of my deceased grandparents and my parents who weren’t running anymore due to injuries. I even wore my grandpa’s Peachtree shirt from 1987.
Each time I run the AJC Peachtree Road Race, I am proud to say that I was one of the kids that ran the Peachtree Jr. early on. I’m lucky to have parents that encouraged me to pursue running at a young age, and I’m looking forward to passing on the legacy and my love of running when I have children one day.
Alexa Lampasona, AJC Peachtree Road Race Participant
Alexa started running in the Atlanta Track Club Peachtree Junior after feeling inspired by her family’s tradition. After moving back to Atlanta in 2012, she continued their legacy by running in the AJC Peachtree Road Race every Fourth of July.
Published: May 2018