Elite runners Maggie, Rich Kanak looking forward to new 8K Challenge race

Three-hour marathoners Maggie and Rich Kanak are always looking for new challenges and they may have found one practically right in their backyard.

The Kanaks, along with other Bucks County Roadrunners Club officials, are helping to organize a first-of-its-kind local race on Labor Day weekend.

It’s called the “8K Challenge’’ and it’s being held in conjunction with the ninth annual Bucks County Duathlon on Sunday, Sept. 2 in Washington Crossing Historic Park.

Recently, the Kanaks, who reside in Newtown, took a run around the new course, which incorporates the WCHP and the Delaware Canal towpath in Washington Crossing.

Afterward, they spoke about the inaugural event and some of the benefits that will come from it, including contributions to both the WCHP and the Missy Flynn Fund.

The 8K course, officially 4.97 miles, looks like a fast layout, with no hills and lots of firm surface. And there is no vehicular traffic to worry about.

Plus, there will be plenty of energy in the air as the popular duathlon is going on virtually at the same time.

“The Bucks County Roadrunners are excited to be involved in the Bucks County Duathlon and especially the 8K Challenge component to the race,’’ Rich said. “And having the BCRR name attached to the Challenge.

“We are in full support of what the BCD has done in the past, raising money for Missy and we’ve always been here in numbers from our club and our membership has always enjoyed the race.’’

Not many courses are structured where the biggest obstacle is the occasional Canadian goose as opposed to a speeding gravel whizzing past on an open road.

“The park is beautiful,’’ Rich added. “It’s a great place to be on Labor Day. . .and it’s nice to do something different – if you want to do the duathlon, as opposed to just running a road race.’’

Registration for the 8K is available at www.buckscountyduathlon.org. Pre-registration ($30 entry fee, guaranteed T-shirt) ends Aug. 15. After that date, the entry fee goes to $40.

BCRR always has been proactive in its support of local non-profit organizations, with funds from its Thanksgiving Day 5-Miler, annual Winter Series and other races going to such causes.

“The Roadrunners have always been fully supportive of local charities,’’ Maggie noted. “As Rich said, it’s exciting to be a part of a new race that’s added on to what has already been a great duathlon.

“There aren’t too many of these in the area so it’s nice to be able to be supportive of a good cause and get a flavor for the park while showing support for such a meaningful charity.’’

The Kanaks have attended the BCD when Flynn, a former world-class triathlete who survived a 2005 brain aneurysm, makes her annual appearance along with life partner Brian Wong.

It’s an emotional hour or two.

“The BCRR does a lot of races and we raise a lot of money for organizations and different alliances,’’ Rich said. “But every once in a while it’s nice to see the face that gets affected by everyone’s hard work.

“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into putting on an event like this. It’s nice to be able to see somebody who benefits directly from that.’’

The Kanaks do some of their long distance training on the canal path so they are familiar with the surroundings.

“There are ducks, turtles and you go under a few bridges,’’ Maggie said with a smile. “It’s meditative, given you can see a lot of scenery and appreciate how beautiful the area really is.’’

For more information about the two races, visit the website or call 215-968-3200.


Race calendar


End to Domestic Violence 5K, 9 a.m., Germantown Academy, Fort Washington. Contact www.wcmontco.org.


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About Wayne Fish 2451 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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