Putting on a race only happens when safety conditions are as close to perfect as possible.
Which is why organizers of the Bucks County Duathlon have decided to call off the competition for a second straight year due to the pandemic.
While all signs point to a much healthier environment by Labor Day weekend, officials want to make sure no one is put at risk.
So the BCD will now concentrate on bringing back the event for its 11th running in September, 2022.
As we stated last year, it’s a disappointment to say the least.
Most of the proceeds from the race go to assist Missy Flynn, the former world-class triathlete who survived a life-threatening brain aneurysm in 2005.
The BCD and preceding events have raised more than $100,000 for the cause.
Flynn’s life partner, Brian Wong, understands why the race had to be canceled. He’s hopeful the race can resume next year in a safer environment.
“I’m sorry to hear it’s still too soon to hold the duathlon but I thought that might happen,’’ Wong said. “The most important thing is that everyone stays safe, and most of all that means all of you since you have to spend so much time dealing with people and moving about to make the race happen.’’
On average, more than 100 multi-sport athletes take part each year in the BCD, which features a two-mile run, 10-mile bike and two-mile run (plus a separate 8K Challenge) in and around Washington Crossing Historic Park.
Eric Stern, one of the original BCD committee members who now oversees both the two-mile and 8K run courses, said he knows how much this event means to both Flynn and Wong.
“This has been such an important event within the community that it hurts to see it canceled again,’’ Stern said. “I know how important this has been for Missy and Brian and I hope that even with the cancellation people will continue to support the event and support Missy. Looking forward to 2022!’’
Ron Jones and David Anderson have tirelessly lent their support, year after year, to the Bucks County Duathlon, making sure runners stay on course as they run along the Delaware Canal towpath.
“I am sorry to hear that the BCD is canceled again, as not only will the bikers and runners be disappointed but funding for Missy may be reduced,’’ Jones said. “I am encouraging everyone to support the fund by going to www.buckscountyduathlon.org and donating.’’
Added Anderson: “I was sorry to hear of the cancellation. The endurance athletic community has come together annually to help Missy meet the many challenges of her life. Those of us who participate are more than glad to be part of an event that improves the lives of everyone touched by it. We look forward to doing it for sure next year.’’
Sharon and Skip Schanbacker are two of Flynn’s closest supporters and are encouraged the race will return next year.
“We met Missy in the early 1990s and have always enjoyed her fierce determination to train and compete,” Sharon said. “Missy has had a passion for multi-sport. The Bucks County Duathlon has been a way to honor her passion and support ongoing needs. A pandemic may cancel events but does not stop Missy’s ongoing care. We are cheering for the return of the race in 2022.”
Efforts are being made to continue support for the Newtown couple.
As previously mentioned, those who wish to make a donation can do so by visiting the race website at www.buckscountyduathlon.org and using the app on the opening page.
Or, checks can be made out to “Bucks County Duathlon’’ and mailed to Newtown Bike Shop, 32 North State Street, Newtown, Pa. 18940.
Race co-director Harry Betz remains optimistic that things will continue to improve and allow for the BCD to return next year.
“It’s a bummer that we had to cancel again,’’ he said, “but we’ll be back with a vengeance in 2022!’’
Saturday, May 29
28th annual Doylestown 5K, 9 a.m., Doylestown. Contact www.doylestown5k.com