But in the case of Missy Flynn, it goes well beyond the ordinary to something very special.
For a decade, multi-sport competitors have participated in the Bucks County Duathlon, with proceeds going to Flynn, a former world-class athlete who was felled by a brain aneurysm incident on Dec. 23, 2005.
Proceeds from the BCD and prior fundraising events have exceeded the $100,000 mark to help with Flynn’s uninsured medical expenses.
The 10th anniversary Bucks County Duathlon will be held on Sunday, Sept. 1, at Washington Crossing Historic Park.
It promises to be a special day, a celebration if you will, of the ongoing life of Flynn, and that of her partner, Brian Wong.
One of the things that will make this year’s milestone race noteworthy is the creation of a unique finisher’s medal for all those who complete the two-mile run, 10-mile bike and two-mile run course in and around the park.
The medal, designed by Chris Seiler and his team at Always Advancing Sports in Newtown, features the famous Washington Crossing logo and will commemorate this very positive occasion.
In addition to the duathlon, there is an 8K Challenge race, which will be held in conjunction with the BCD on the Delaware Canal towpath.
Those who have competed in or volunteered for the duathlon look forward to getting together with friends once again.
Pat Duncan is one who has both participated in the race and helped with event operations.
“The depiction of Washington crossing the Delaware reminds me what this is all about,” Duncan says. “Everybody working hard to support a common goal. Symbolically, Missy is George Washington. We may be helping her out but there’s no doubt she’s the leader.”
Wong is quite appreciative for the ongoing show of support.
“Imagine if you asked friends to make dinner for you once a week ... for 10 years,” Wong said. “That’s what our friends have done for us. This medal makes me think of all of our friends who have supported us in many different ways on our long, slow but still going journey.”
Accomplished triathlete Bob Burke operates Guy’s Bicycles in Feasterville. He’s gratified to see the duathlon still in place and working toward a great cause. He remembers the days of Flynn as a world-class competitor and appreciates what the sports community has done to assist her in a time of need.
“After seeing the commemorative 10th anniversary finisher’s medal for the Bucks County Duathlon, I catch myself in amazement of how fast time has gone by since the first events were put on to support Missy’s recovery,” Burke says.
“I am sure that many of the athletes who race in the upcoming BCD are not familiar with Missy and how great an athlete she was. But I am certain that there is, and always will be, a large amount of us from Bucks County who will remember Missy’s elite level of racing. This year’s race looks to be building up to another promising event, and with it being the 10th annual, we can all reflect on the years that have passed and be so grateful that we can still enjoy the amazing sport of duathlon/triathlon.”
Adds elite runner and volunteer Mike Clarke: “To me, the medal represents the courage of Missy in fighting her health condition and the sacrifice of Brian in helping Missy with the battle.”
Former Doylestown police chief and dedicated multi-sport athlete Steve White expresses similar feelings.
“In the spirit of common men and women doing what is right,” White says, “Missy Flynn’s ‘family’ of friends stand by her in raising funds and awareness with this great Bucks County Duathlon.”
Registration for the BCD and 8K Challenge are available at buckscountyduathlon.org
Bucks County athletes always have been known for taking care of one of their own.