92-year-old who ran every Peachtree Road Race will no longer compete

Bill Thorn, 92, is stepping down from the Peachtree Road Race after 53 years.
Bill Thorn, 92, is stepping down from the Peachtree Road Race after 53 years.(WANF)
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 2:52 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Peachtree Road Race has been running since 1970, and Bill Thorn competed every single time.

But this year, 92-year-old Thorn is stepping down, according to a statement from Atlanta Track Club. He is the only person to participate in every race since its inception.

“There is only one way to stop worrying about not finishing, and that is to just be finished,” Thorn said. “I’m going into a new era.”

At this year’s race on July 4, Thorn will be chauffeured down the route as an honored Grand Marshal. Then he will cross the finish line on foot. Thorn’s name will also be engraved on the Peachtree Cup, and race participants can thank him at a Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo signing wall.

Thorn, who coached football, track and field and cross country for 64 years, still works out almost every day of the week for up to two hours, the statement said. He even participated in the Peachtree Road Race virtually during COVID-19, aided with a walker.

“I have no doubt that if he had attempted his 54th he would have succeeded, because that is what he does,” said Rich Kenah, race director of the Peachtree. “We will celebrate Bill as the iron man of Peachtree, because that is what he is.”