Finale Set For Breezy Point Biathlon
Ryan Patrick Woerner was a 16-year old student at Xavier High School in Manhattan when he came up with an idea to organize an event which includes physical activity and honors a local Breezy Point resident. Woerner was then joined by few of his young friends to create the Breezy Point Biathlon.
That event would also lead to honoring Bill Mullaly, a neighbor who passed away due to cancer, had devoted his time to helping others in the community.
The Breezy Point Biathlon, which is now in its seventh year, has grown each year to attract hundreds of contestants to compete. Woerner and the organizers are currently working hard to get their biggest turnout yet in what ultimately is the final race on July 9 at the Sugar Bowl in Breezy Point.
The event, which honors Bill and Alice Mullaly, along with Thomas Woods, starts at 10 a.m. and participants will compete in a 1.5 Mile Run, a 3.0 Mile Bike run and conclude with a 0.35 Mile Run.The event drew a record number of 227 contestants, and Woerner hopes that number grows larger this year.
“You want to be in a position to end it on a good note,” Woerner said. “And the people we honor I feel we have paid an appropriate tribute to them and their family.”
The proceeds of the event benefit a scholarship fund created to provide assistance to two young students who will attend a private or catholic high school institution. The proceeds over the years have raised a total of $35,000.
The event has been a labor of love for Woerner as he set up the event over the years while in high school and the four years studying at Ithaca College. The 22- year old Woerner just recently concluded as one of the youngest coaches in the country after serving as an assistant with the Cornell women’s team. He learned his basketball pedigree from his mother Cathy Crockett, who won over 300 basketball games in 23 years at Bishop Kearney High School.
Woerner made it a point to create the event to get people involved physically in an activity. His other mission was to get young people his age involved in the organization of the event.
A few years ago, current college student and assistant organizer Taylor Conlon, eagerly jumped in when Woerner asked him to help the cause.
“We got the drill down pat now, when and where we have to do it. We work together really well. I never had a sense of I’m 16 years old and I couldn’t do it,” Conlon said.
The biggest support Woerner could get was from the Mullaly family. Bill’s wife Alice was eager to help and became a major supporter in the early years of the event. It was tough for Woerner to learn early last year that Alice also passed away due to cancer.
“The hard part of that is Alice was so active in the race and we did it for her husband and then she passes away, it’s so fitting to add her,” Woerner said. “She was engaged in it and the whole family has. They help us out and if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think this would ever be this successful.”
Denise Byrnes, who is Bill and Alice’s daughter. says the event has been beneficial to their family.
“It’s a beautiful day to gather, it’s like a family holiday in our lives,” Byrnes said.
“As far as the family it’s been a great gift for us that the scholarships have been awarded is such a big tribute to my parents. They gave so much to the community and they always admired people who always give to the community.”
The biathlon is very close to home to assistant organizer Tom Woods. The event will honor the college student’s father Thomas, who also passed away from cancer just a year ago.
“It’s just like a memoriam and you realize how many people care for you which is good,” Woods said.
Woerner is grateful to everyone who has volunteered their services. It has helped him think about creating other charitable causes in the near future.
“The gratifying thing is that it gives the people who you memorialize and their families an opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one,” Woerner said. “There’s nothing more gratifying than that.”
For more information on how to register, contact Ryan Patrick Woerner at 718-757-4669 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.