Bucks County Duathlon excited about return on Sept. 4

An athlete competes in 10th annual Bucks County Duathlon in 2019.
      A great race for a great cause is returning to the local multi-sport scene.
      After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the Bucks County Duathlon will be back this Sept. 4 for its 11th annual event.
      Registration officially opens on Sunday, May 1.
      The BCD, which features a two-mile run, 10-mile bike, two-mile run course through Washington Crossing Historic Park grounds and surrounding roads, was held each year until 2019 to raise funds for Missy Flynn, the former world-class ironman triathlete who suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm on Dec. 23, 2005.
      Since then, the duathlon and previous other related events have raised more than $100,000 to help with the Newtown resident’s uninsured medical costs.
      Brian Wong, Flynn’s life partner, is gratified to learn the BCD is coming back.
      “We’re really happy to see the return of the Bucks County Duathlon,’’ he said. “Our friends are persistent in the best way, just like Missy, willing to wait out the pandemic until it’s safe to hold a race again. Given our situation, we’ve been really isolated the past couple years, and it will be an absolute joy to go to the race and see our friends again.’’
      Some of the duathlon’s popularity is based on the race’s fast and scenic course. With the repavement of Stonybrook Road in Upper Makefield Township, the entire bike course now traverses a smooth surface and should result in quick times.
      “We’re glad to finally get the BCD going again,’’ said co-race director Harry Betz, whose Newtown Bike Shop serves as headquarters for pre-race packet pickup. “It’s been a long two years and athletes are anxious to get back in the swing of things. We’re grateful for all the support from the racing community and look forward to seeing some familiar faces on race day.’’
      Back at the 10th anniversary duathlon in 2019, Betz talked about what the race means for all involved.
      “It’s been 10 years of raising money for some great causes, 10 years of orchestrating an event that makes lots of people happy and 10 years of giving folks a goal to work toward,’’ Betz said.
      “And it’s gratifying to see the diverse crowd that we draw from, from the elite to the first-timer and everything in between.  The Bucks County Duathlon is truly an event for any athlete.’’
      Race volunteer Dave Anderson sees first-hand what the BCD does to help out with a cause.
      “This event is unique in a couple of ways,’’ Anderson said. “First, its sustainability. Not many other events, pulling together people to meet an emergency need, last for 10 years.
      “Second would be how much this event helps to define the running community. At this event, members come together in a joint effort that gives the community an identity, and by extension gives volunteers the opportunity to identify with something bigger than themselves, the effort to help a fellow runner/biker in need.’’
      Added long-time race volunteer Ron Jones: “Besides raising money year after year for a very worthy cause, I have been impressed by the energy and dedication that the volunteers exhibit to provide a well-run duathlon. If anyone is interested in competing in a professionally-organized event and contributing to worthwhile causes, this is the one.’’
      Committee member MaryAnn Connor believes the BCD will quickly get back to the level of excellence it exhibited over the previous decade.
      “We’re excited the race is coming back,’’ she said. “We look forward to a great day, to seeing Missy and all who support this important event.’’
      As mentioned, registration will open on Sunday, May 1. To register, visit www.buckscountyduathlon.org or visit Facebook, then enter “Bucks County Duathlon’’ in the search box. All competitors must have proof of at least a one-day membership card from USA Triathlon for insurance purposes as well as be eligible for USAT competition points.
      Questions about the race should be directed to 215-968-3200.
      Race calendar
      Saturday
      Rock the Nock 13.1-mile/10K/5K, 7:30 a.m., Quakertown. Contact www.runsignup.com
About Wayne Fish 1739 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.