A Letter from Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah

Parents and Participants of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Peachtree Junior–

It is 10 a.m. as a write this note from my desk here at Atlanta Track Club’s offices.  Our staff and volunteers have just completed unloading all our race-related items from Piedmont Park.  We fully expected to still be at the park celebrating one of our favorite events with all of you.   We know how disappointed many of the children who specifically trained for Peachtree Junior were when they learned of today’s cancellation. 

The decision to cancel the 2017 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Peachtree Junior did not come lightly.  In fact, I’ve spent much of this week working through "what-if" weather scenarios with our events and marketing teams.   Overnight, multiple weather tracking apps indicated the threat of severe weather was  dissipating.  However on our 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. calls with the National Weather Service and through Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency’s Severe Weather alerts, we learned of a continuing threat of lightning in the area of Piedmont Park. Because of that information we did not feel comfortable assembling thousands of children in an outdoor environment. I made the decision at an hour that would allow us to notify as many participants as possible before they began to make their way to the event. 

Atlanta Track Club staff will tell you that I am always reviewing our events for ways to improve experiences, process and communication.   Admittedly,  I wish I could have predicted that the storms would ultimately move south of us as they marched eastward.   

Our mission is to keep kids and adults running and walking, but our number one priority is safety.  So while it looks as if we may have been able to squeeze in the race after all, please know that this decision to err on the side of safety is one which we put a lot of thought and planning into.  Success is not just in the destination but in the journey as well. We are formulating our plan to mail out bibs, medals and t-shirts to reward children for the hard work they did to prepare for the Peachtree Junior.  Our goal is to have those in the mail in just a few days. 

Unfortunately, due to scheduling, we are unable to hold this event at a later date. We invite you to participate in our free All Comers Track & Field Meets which feature events for children of all ages. The meets are held each Tuesday evening. You can find details here.

We and our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia would like to thank you for your understanding and support as we aim to improve the health and well-being of our children.


Rich Kenah