It’s that time of the year folks – time for the annual Missy Flynn Challenge.
Last year’s event was a washout. Heavy rains pelted the region last year on Aug. 9 just in time for the yearly fundraiser meant to raise funds for Flynn.
For those of you not familiar with the name, Missy Flynn was once an area triathlete who competed in ironman triathlons including the Ironman World Championship that takes place annually in Hawaii. That’s a 2 1/2 mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride, capped off with a 26.2-mile running marathon.
But that was before December 2005. Two days before Christmas, Flynn suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm that initially rendered her bound to a wheelchair and unable to speak.
Since then, folks who grew to know and love the beloved Bucks County athlete have hosted numerous fundraisers to try to help offset the cost of Flynn’s medical care, which has been exorbitant.
The first three years, organizers held the annual Ride for Missy. Last year, they turned it into a triathlon after partnering with the Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) where the swim portion was held.
Counting on nice weather and athletes who make game-day decisions as to weather or not they’ll participate, organizers were left disappointed when the rains came.
Heavy rains or not, Newtown Bike Shop owner Harry Betz, a point person for the drive to raise funds for Flynn, says that participation in the event has waned over the years so he was looking for another direction to take the fundraiser.
“The market just seems to be saturated with biking events,” said Betz. “These duathlons and triathlons are hugely popular and we’re hoping to capitalize on it.”
“This is a really cool event for the area.”
Betz and company have tweaked the Flynn fundraiser yet again this year. Meet the first of its kind in the Bucks County area, the Bucks County Duathlon. Organizers have announced a two-mile run/10-mile bike/two-mile run to be held Sept. 5 in and around the vicinity of Washington Crossing Historic Park.
Money raised from the event this year will benefit two causes: The Washington Crossing Visitors Center, which is in need of repairs, and the Missy Flynn Fund.
The Bucks County Duathlon begins at 7:30 a.m. sharp Sunday, Sept. 5. The start of the event is near Route 532 Washington Crossing Road and Route 32 River Road.
The Preregistration discount of $60 has been extended to August 15.
After that the cost is $75. Or do the Fun Run/Walk for $15.
Packet Pick up will be at Newtown Bicycle Shop Friday, Sept. 3 between 12 and 6 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 4 between 12 and 5 p.m.
See www.buckscountyduathlon.org for more information.