Posted on RacetheRunway.com March 16, 2020
March 16, 2020: Organizers of Race the Runway (RTR) announce that RTR will not take place at Smiths Falls – Montague Russ Beach Airport in 2020.
Citing safety and liability concerns, the Board of Directors of the Smiths Falls Flying Club, the group responsible for the operations and management of the Smiths Russ Beach Airport, has voted to block this year’s event from taking place. This despite a flawless safety record over the past eight years that the event has been held. The organizers of the RTR event, an independent not-for-profit corporation, hope to continue to work with the SFFC, and the owners of the airport, (the Town of Smiths Falls and the Township of Montague) to resolve concerns and allow for the resumption of RTR in 2021. We appreciate the extensive efforts of all event stakeholders and the substantial support from many members of the SFFC, the Town of Smiths Falls and Montague Township in support of RtR.
Race the Runway has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last eight years for the airport improvements, local hospital, and children’s charities, local service clubs and the Smiths Falls Aviation Museum. In addition, RTR delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual economic benefits to the Greater Smiths Falls community as one of the largest community and tourist events of the year.
The RTR team is extremely proud that our local event is widely considered to be a world-class automotive festival, providing an affordable day of family entertainment for many thousands of adults and children from across Ontario, Quebec and the northern United States. We are equally proud of the hundreds of fantastic volunteers that have made the event hugely successful — all while maintaining a perfect safety record.
We would like to express our gratitude to the dozens of sponsors for their support and efforts over the years. Special thanks and appreciation goes out to Olivier Benloulou of OB Prestige Auto who has been the title sponsor of Race the Runway for the last five years. We also wish to thank the hundreds of volunteers (many of whom are members of the Smiths Falls Flying Club) for their dedication, support, and hard work. Finally, thank you to our thousands of loyal attendees who have supported us since the first RTR in 2012. Without all of your efforts, this remarkable event would not have been possible.
We look forward to the resumption of RTR in 2021.