Garden of Reflection 5K helps keep alive the tradition of honoring 9/11 heroes and victims

Many races contribute to a worthy cause but you would be hard pressed to find one more meaningful in Bucks County than the Garden of Reflection 5K.

This year, the event will be acknowledging its 15th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Pennsylvania Official 9/11 Memorial site, 1950 Woodside Rd. in Yardley.

Officially, it’s a race but it’s also an opportunity to honor those 2,973 who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, including 18 citizens of Bucks County, nine of those from Lower Makefield.

Keeping the legacy alive is the clear mission statement.

“We’re still here and we still remember,’’ says race organizer Gregory Tarallo. “Folks who participate year after year also remember.

“People who register for the race want to honor those who perished. The slogan for the Memorial is ‘remember, honor and support.’ The endowment is to preserve the integrity of the Memorial in perpetuity so that future generations can honor those that were taken from us, not only Bucks County but anywhere.’’

For a third straight year, there is a “Virtual Challenge,’’ allowing those who can’t attend in person to run a comparable distance (or for more or less distance) and have their registration fee donated to the cause.

Or, for those with a lot of energy, you can do both the actual race on the 16th and the Virtual Challenge, which will be available from Sept. 14-17.

The Garden of Reflection 5K always has great awards and this year will be no exception.

Exclusive, custom-designed collectable Garden of Reflection memorial three-inch medals and ribbons will be awarded for all participants. Limited quantities will be produced.

A new medal will be designed and produced each year, so, according to race officials, this will be a highly collectible item.

Medals will be mailed to all Virtual Challenge participants following the event.

So, if you can’t make the 5K race, or are looking to challenge yourself beyond just the 5K, or if you want to earn the exclusive, limited edition, custom-designed 9/11 Garden of Reflection medal, register for the 9/11 GOR Virtual Challenge.

You will receive additional instructions via email after you register.

“The Memorial is to honor everybody,’’ Tarallo says. “So over the years, there were obviously a lot of people who were touched by 9/11. They wanted a way to participate, not just send in a donation but actually be part of it.

“So the Virtual Challenge is a good way to do that.’’

To register or for more information, visit the website at Online registration closes Sept. 14. Raceday registration on-site is available.

In the 14-year history of the event, more than $185,000 has been raised for the cause.


Bucks County Duathlon thank you notes

A special thanks to all who participated or volunteered to help out with last Sunday’s ninth annual Bucks County Duathlon at Washington Crossing Historic Park.

Close to 100 competitors registered for either the duathlon or the new 8K Challenge.

The old adage: No one got lost, no one got hurt and no one got wet once again held true as the two races went off without a hitch, including some cooperating weather conditions.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Missy Flynn Fund to assist the former world-class triathlete from Newtown who survived a 2005 brain aneurysm injury.

In the history of the event, more than $100,000 has been raised to help Ms. Flynn with uninsured medical expenses, etc.

David Dixon, 52, of Wilmington, Del. was the men’s champion in a time of 53:12 for the two-mile run, 10-mile bike, two-mile run course.

Morrisville’s Monika Paciorek, 43, took home the women’s title in 1:01.37.

One excellent time of note: 62-year-old Lorrie Beck of Williamstown, N.J. was third woman overall in the eye-opening time of 1:04:42.

In the 8K, the Kanaks – Richard and Maggie – of Newtown dominated.

Rich was first male in 33:27 and Maggie was first female in 37:46.

Complete results for both events are available at

Once again, the BCD’s generous sponsors came through. The list includes Newtown Bike Shop, Becky’s Deli, Firehouse Cycles of Yardley, Guy’s Bicycles of Feasterville, David Craig Jewelers of Newtown, Always Advancing Sports, the Bucks County Roadrunners, Newtown Athletic Club, Advanced Sports Chiropractic, Rosenthal Medical Specialties and Paul Rosen, D.M.D.

And thanks also to Upper Makefield Police Department, the St. Mary Hospital EMS (Squad 172) and the Langhorne-Middletown Fire Police.

The BCD looks forward to a big 10th anniversary celebration next season, complete with a bunch of surprises.


Race calendar


Run Now Wine Later 5K, 8:30 a.m., New Hope. Contact

Sunday, Sept. 16

15th annual Garden of Reflection 5K, 9 a.m., Yardley. Contact

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About Wayne Fish 2437 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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