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Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 1:11pm

Volunteers Prepare for Rainy Peachtree

Despite the rain, volunteers with the Atlanta Track Club have been working around the clock to prepare for 44th running of the Peachtree Road Race.

“It hasn’t really affected it much. I mean, just put on the ponchos and get out there like we always do,” said Sarah Welch, who has been volunteering for the race for five years. “The wet isn’t much of a problem for me.”

Volunteer Scott Patton was watching over the prized Peachtree t-shirts Wednesday afternoon. They were stacked in boxes and covered by layers of tarps to protect them from the unrelenting rain.

“Nobody wants a soggy t-shirt,” said Patton, who also directed workers as they installed fencing in the area.

Race organizers have added extra fences and barricades in and around Piedmont Park as part of extra security precautions for the event in the wake of April's Boston Marathon bombings. Patton said that has made volunteering a little harder than in years past.

“The big things that have changed this year, besides the weather, is just the perimeter fencing. Everything’s a lot tighter now,” said Patton. “So, everything I need to do, I kind of have to have permission and credentials and everything else. So it’s made it a little bit more difficult, but other than that, things have gone pretty smooth[ly].”

Patton said he understands the need for additional security, especially because the race takes place on Independence Day.

“It’s a necessary evil. I believe and I’ve always believed if people want to do bad, they’re going to do bad and unfortunately, the bad of the one percenters out there mess it up for the other 99 percent that want to do right,” Patton explained. “I believe, with it being a patriotic day, I think everybody’s going to be more on their toes, more aware and do a better job of just watching out for what’s going on.”

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