Bucks County in Pennsylvania is one of the most beautiful and history-rich places to run, hike, or bike in the country. Luckily, local organizations and communities here host a variety of themed runs and walks throughout the year, ranging from easy flat courses that welcome first-timers, all the way to endurance-challenging triathlons.
Mark your calendar for this abundance of fun events and experience the warmth of community participation, the thrill of competition, and often the added satisfaction of contributing to a worthy cause.
Here are only a few of the region’s signature seasonal events for runners, walkers, and triathletes:
- 9/11 Heroes Run
The 9/11 Heroes Run in Doylestown happens every year on or around September 11. It is designed to honor the many selfless acts of service by first responders, military personnel, and civilians whose sacrifices saved lives during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A 5K race welcomes runners and walkers of all abilities and is one of about 90 Heroes Run events worldwide. Each year, a total of about 60,000 people participate.
The Travis Manion Foundation sponsors the 9/11 Heroes Run series. First Lieutenant Travis Manion was killed in the line of duty in Iraq in 2007. But he saved every other member of his patrol when he deliberately drew enemy sniper fire away from them. The foundation named in his honor works to inspire future generations of Americans to help create a better world through service to others, with the 9/11 Heroes Run as its central commitment. Doylestown was the location of the first Heroes Run 13 years ago.
- Peace Valley Fall Duathlon
The Peace Valley Duathlon typically takes place in late September or early October, offering an exciting combination of running and cycling. It includes both longer and short duathlons for adults and a Kids Rock Duathlon for ages 6 to 15. Adults can also participate in the two- or three-member Short Race Team or Long Race Team events. Participants begin at Sailor’s Point Boat Launch at Lake Galena in Peace Valley Park—a starting point that allows them to enjoy some of the most scenic routes in Bucks County.
Peace Valley Park also offers a duathlon event in the spring. Both events are highly accessible and beginner-friendly. Organizers urge early registration, since the limited number of slots tend to sell out fast.
- Bridge to Bridge Run
Bucks County’s Bridge to Bridge (B2B) Run and Relay is another fall event, and this one starts and finishes at the Tinicum Park Towpath in the village of Upper Black Eddy. Teams of four to seven participants, approved in advance by the Bucks County Roadrunners (BCRR) organization, take on the scenic, 51-mile circuit. The relay runs across two of the region’s famous historic bridges, Centre Bridge and Frenchtown Bridge.
The BCRR group sponsors a number of other outdoor events, welcoming runners and enthusiasts of all skill and experience levels.
- Yes You Can 5K
The historic borough of Yardley, founded in the 17th century and nestled against the Delaware River, sponsors the annual Yes You Can 5K run in the spring. The event has a true community feel, beginning at Pennsbury Middle School and winding through several neighborhoods and another local school. The chip-timed race offers a flat course accessible to participants of all abilities, and welcomes walkers as well.
For its 2022 incarnation, the Yes You Can race will be a hybrid event, offering two options: Runners can race the pre-set course in person on April 24, or race their own routes on their own time between April 16 and 24. As organizers put it, the event is all about “building confidence, building community.”
- YMCA Bucks County Strong 5K
Also in spring, the YMCA Bucks County Strong 5K gathers the community in Doylestown for another popular, family-friendly race starting at the Central Bucks West High School campus and finishing at the school’s stadium. While this event went virtual in 2021, organizers have planned a traditional in-person run for May 15, 2022.
Proceeds from the event will assist the YMCA of Bucks County Operation Compassion Recovery program. Started as a targeted response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Operation Compassion assists families experiencing food insecurity, medical and mental health challenges, financial difficulties, and other issues.
- Steelman Racing Triathlon
The Steelman Racing Triathlon is an August event held in Quakertown. Gearing up for its 18th year in 2022, the Olympic-style triathlon is open to new and experienced triathletes alike. It includes a high school component with the Pennsylvania State Championship Race.
The triathlon starts and concludes at Lake Nockamixon State Park, home to some lovely running and hiking trails, prime picnicking spots, and opportunities for biking, sailing, hunting, fishing, and numerous other sports. Participants swim the lake, bike through a closed course along the area’s rolling hill country, and run a tree-shaded route on newly paved roadways that skirt the lake.
In addition to the main Olympic-style triathlon, the Steelman series in Bucks County includes other events such as sprints, relays, and races with aquabike components.