Every year on July 4, the Atlana Track Club hosts the world's largest 10K: the Peachtree Road Race. Executive Director Rich Kenah heads up this organization and brings years of Olympic-level running experience to the planning and execution of this fantastic event. Kenah's event was the 800, and he brought home the bronze in the 1997 World Indoor Championships and World Championships in Athens. He went on to run in the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney. After retiring from the track, Kenah says, "I spent most of my days marketing fast athletes and events that featured Olympic-caliber athletes." Now, he's settled down in Atlanta to encourage people who simply run for fun and fitness. We caught up with him about his vision for the ATC and what keeps him going in the sport after all these years.
What is the most rewarding part of working in the running world?
Helping people at every stage of the runner life cycle enjoy the sport, from beginner runners to Olympic athletes.
Since joining the Atlanta Track Club, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of our staff and the effort they put forth to ensure all of our programs align with our mission of making people more active and fit through running and walking.
What developments do you envision for Atlanta Track Club's future?
We are in the final stages of a new real estate purchase, and the building we are acquiring will allow us to create a destination for all of our runners. Whether you are looking to sign up for a race, attend a running clinic, pick up a race number or simply go for a run, our address will be on the "must visit" list for runners.
What can our readers expect from this year's Peachtree Road Race?
They can expect the world's largest gathering of runners celebrating a 10K like only Atlanta can. Some of the new things participants should look out for include: The Verizon Wireless Family Fitness area at the Peachtree Expo on July 2 and 3, a new style for the all-important Peachtree participant shirt and the inaugural Peachtree Cup elite team competition.
Do you ever struggle to stay motivated with running?
I don't struggle to stay motivated, but I do struggle to make time to run as much as I would like. The great irony of working for a running organization is that I am generally working on the days and at the times that most people get the chance to run, so it takes discipline to guard my "run time."
What is your favorite place to run in Atlanta?
Cochran Shoals. Flat, shade covered, cinder trail...it doesn't get any better.
What do you look for in a running shoe?
I look for something fairly simple, lightweight and performance oriented. I wear the Mizuno Wave Rider.
What's your number one tip for a beginning runner?
Don't overthink it. Your body can accomplish more than you ever imagined as long as you don't let your mind convince you otherwise.