George Washington could never have imagined anything like this.
Almost 246 years after the famous American general crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack on British forces in Trenton, the iconic transition point will serve as a different type of inspiration.
The Philadelphia Warriors hockey team (made up of retired/disabled U.S. military personnel), in conjunction with the Flyers Alumni Association, will be heading to what is now Washington Crossing Historic Park on Saturday, April 23 for a Walk, Run, Stroll 10K/5K/1K charity event.
Proceeds from the races will benefit the Bucks County YMCA’s veterans wellness initiative and the Warriors program.
Brad Marsh, president of the Alumni Association and coach of the Warriors, said the organizations have been looking for a military-theme setting in the Delaware Valley for almost the past three years.
After scouting such locales as Valley Forge, it was decided to go with scenic WCHP.
“When the Warrior program first started, my thought was to do an event to showcase the team,’’ said Marsh, a former Flyer defenseman and accomplished triathlete. “Because of the veterans involved and they are all disabled. It’s more of an information event and to raise some funds for the program.’’
Marsh had hoped to have this set of races as early as 2019 but then the pandemic entered the picture and everything was pretty much put on hold.
“But we continued looking around,’’ Marsh said. “The month of April (2022) came up for Washington Crossing Park and it was available. So we jumped on it and here we are. Over those couple years, more and more people have learned about the Warriors but we’re still using this as a ‘meet-and-greet,’ so we’re excited about this opportunity.’’
Interested participants can register at flyersalumni.net.
A number of former Flyers are scheduled to compete in the races, including Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe, who will run the 10K. Also on hand will be long-time Flyers public address announcer Lou Nolan, national anthem singer Lauren Hart and, of course, Flyers mascot Gritty.
The mission statement for the event can be found on the Alumni website:
“The Flyers Alumni Association and the Flyers Warriors are dedicated to giving back to the Delaware Valley communities through local charitable giving, volunteerism and community involvement. It is events like the Walk, Run, Stroll that help us raise funds to maximize our ability to provide the greatest impact possible to worthy causes and those in need. The event and the course are unique as participants will travel past the barracks area in which the Continental Army was housed. The route will then traverse along the path in which General George Washington, and his troops marched before crossing the
Delaware River into Trenton in Durham boats.’’
The race courses will cover a lot of historic aspects of WCHP.
“What’s neat about the course is our start-finish line is right where Washington’s troops slept,’’ Marsh said. “Our route is the route he took to cross the Delaware. It’s pretty cool. The routes go past the tombs of the unknown soldiers (in the cemetery across the Delaware Canal from Thompson-Neeley House). It’s a walk, run, stroll as we are billing it.’’
A number of WCHP reenactment personnel also will be participating in the ceremonies.
Additional beneficiaries for the race include the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, Every Child Deserves a Bike, Flyers Power Play, and 12 Days of Christmas Giving.
“One of the things that makes the Philadelphia Flyers one of the best organizations in professional sports is our connection to our incredible alumni,” said Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for the Flyers. “This new event supports the great work of the Flyers Alumni Association, but it’s also an important opportunity to bring the entire Flyers family together.”
In addition to participating in the Walk, Run, Stroll Event, entrants also have the option to become a Flyers Alumni Teammate and earn special prizes like Flyers Alumni swag, running shoes, Flyers tickets and more.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4-Miler, 10 a.m., Northampton Municipal Center, Churchville. Contact www.runsignup.com