Wing members run in Peachtree Road Race for Air Force 60th

A contingent of Air Force members and volunteers from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., ran representing the Air Force in the annual Peachtree Road Race in downtown Atlanta July 4th. The event draws more than 75,000 applicants, 55,000 of whom are chosen to run. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Peek)

A contingent of Air Force members and volunteers from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., ran representing the Air Force in the annual Peachtree Road Race in downtown Atlanta July 4th. The event draws more than 75,000 applicants, 55,000 of whom are chosen to run. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Peek)

Maj. Mark Jordan, 94th Operations Group, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., proudly holds his Peachtree Road Race T-shirt after completing the annual July 4 run in downtown Atlanta. The shirts are a status symbol among runners, not only in the Southeast, but around the world.

Maj. Mark Jordan, 94th Operations Group, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., proudly holds his Peachtree Road Race T-shirt after completing the annual July 4 run in downtown Atlanta. The shirts are a status symbol among runners, not only in the Southeast, but around the world.

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga., -- As the national anthem ended, a pair of A-10s roared overhead, the crowd cheered, and 50 Airmen from the 94th Airlift Wing took their places for the start of the 38th Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia.

They joined 55,000 other men, women and children who ran or walked in the race on July 4, which has grown in popularity since the Atlanta Track Club organized the first event for 110 runners in 1970.

The race began in Lenox Square in the Buckhead section of town and ended 6.2 miles later near Piedmont Park. It is billed as the world's largest 10K road race.

Those crossing the finish line earn the highly coveted Peachtree T-shirt. However, before that happens, they need a race number. Getting one is a challenge in itself. Even with 55,000 spots available, tickets sell out very quickly. There are more than 70,000 applicants. This year was no different. Tickets sold out within days of being made available.

Many of the 94th AW runners wore a bright blue shirt imprinted with the Air Force logo. The shirts were a donated by the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association, a group founded in 1981 to promote patriotism and sponsor activities of a patriotic nature among the business community.

According to Lt Col John Jones, deputy commander of the 94th Operations Group, most of the runners from the 94th maintained a 10-minute mile pace, enabling them to finish the 6.2 mile course in less than one hour.

They, and the other military runners in the race, weren't the first military participants to win this year's Peachtree T-shirt. More than 3,000 other military runners had already won their t-shirts the night before when race officials in Atlanta, standing on the start line in Lenox Square, had used a cell phone to signal the start of similar races at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; and Baghdad, Iraq.

It was the fourth year the event had been simultaneously held in Southwest Asia.