• Dave McGuire

Rebuilding 2021's Queen City Road Race

The Clarksvillian

Last year, the 42nd Annual Queen City Road Race was cancelled due to Covid19 concerns. It was the right decision and one repeated throughout the world. After the cancellation, organizers announced the race would “return on May 1, 2021”.

The QCRR may be Clarksville’s most significant annual community event which brings together thousands of people from every cross-section of the city. The importance of the event to the city’s spirits could not happen at a more important time. So why was the race immediately cancelled and not postponed for review like many other races? The answer falls along the lines of Covid19's uncertainty and concerns for properly preparing to make the event safe. The answers were the right decisions and completely understood by residents.

The structure of the event is not rigid and does leaves flexibility for change. Does the QCRR need to be an actual “race”? Some readers may not realize organizers of the QCRR annually work to provide funding and donation opportunities for local school programs. When considering how classroom expenses are often paid by teacher's personal pockets - a review is needed. School openings have been inconsistently scheduled, but whispers reinforce concerns about budget guidelines still being reviewed to properly account for resources to ensure safe classrooms. If that much uncertainty remains, you can bet the unofficial expectation of teachers to continue reaching into their pockets will continue.

Is it possible for the QCRR to change its standard format to become a "walk" or combo bike ride with one sole purpose - raising money for this year's county classrooms? The 2021-2022 budget should effectively track the struggles and challenges of 2020-2021 and allow for accurate planning. Believing this year's budget will identify every Covid19 variable is just unrealistic. If you've ever worked with a P&L, you'll understand the unknown variables tend to result in lesser funding due to limited justifications.

Not a competition …

Not a protest …

Not a political march …

The classrooms would benefit from the additional resources supplied through QCRR fees and the associated donations. And dare I say, this year’s Queen City Walk might even become a single year non-profit event with all revenue given directly to county schools.

Neighbors focused on fundraising for the teachers and children of Montgomery County. All while enjoying an early Autumn walk through the city streets. Does it get any simpler?