OU Senior Helps the Atlanta Track Club Run Smoothly

Most people could only dream of having a job that is the perfect blend of business and pleasure, but this summer rising senior Beth Cleary ’12 got to experience just that.

Beth just finished a one-of-a-kind internship with the Atlanta Track Club, a job that seemed made for her. An avid distance runner, Beth worked at the ATC as an all-around intern, attending to hundreds of runners and helping to organize the ATC’s flagship event, the Peachtree Road Race.

It became obvious that this was a match made in heaven when, during the beginning of her internship, she witnessed people literally “running into work.”

“You have no idea how thrilled I was to find out that they had two full bathrooms with showers,…so you could run into work or run with your coworkers before the office opened and then just get showered up there,” recalled Beth. “I was immersed in a culture and group of people that lots of [others] look at like it’s crazy…but for me, it’s a dream.”

At this year’s Peachtree Road Race, Beth had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most elite runners. She attended the pre-race press conference, picked up invited athletes from the airport, and readied the athletes for the post-race awards stage.

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Why did the Petrel cross the road?

Clair Carter '12 (far left) and Sean Lovett '12 (second from left) ran this year's Peachtree with Sean's family as...(you guessed it!) a Quidditch team ala Harry Potter.

To start the race, of course!

For most Americans, July 4th is a time for cookouts, family, and fireworks.  But here in Atlanta, Independence Day is also about challenging the world to the largest 10K on the planet.  And this year, there were plenty of Petrels in the Peachtree Road Race—from students, to staff, to alumni. 

Michelle Hall, OU’s Vice President for Campus Life, was among the Oglethorpe staff who ran, as well as Admission Counselor Jeremy Sale and Director of Finance/Controller Amy Rentenbach

“This was my fourth race that my wife and I ran together,” said Jeremy.  “I love all the spectators on the course and this year the Atlanta Track Club outdid itself with the number of entertainers on the course as well… It’s great that so many from the OU community run the Peachtree, it shows our commitment to Atlanta and being healthy.”

Of the Petrels that ran, rising senior Beth Cleary certainly had a lot to be proud of.  She has run the Peachtree eight times, finishing her first race at the age of 11.  Beth has improved upon her time ever since, clocking a respectable 44:18 this year—a major jump from her 70-minute race time back in 6th grade.

“I LOVE the Peachtree! My goal time is always faster than the last time. [This year,] once the final results came in, I found out that I missed the Top 1000 by a little bit ….[but] I want that Top 1000 mug. So next year, it’s gonna happen.”

All competitiveness aside, Beth reveals why the race keeps calling her back year after year. 

“I love road races,” said Beth, who is interning with the Atlanta Track Club, the nonprofit that organizes the Peachtree each year.  “I consider myself a pretty serious runner, but I consider Peachtree more of an event and an experience than an honest to goodness race. It’s a reminder of the community that running can provide…The atmosphere is fantastic and I feel as though I’m surrounded by hundreds of my best friends.”