Fall Challenge Ride, Hey Hey 5K Canceled

Organizers encourage participants to support nonprofits that support them

The Peninsula Pacers organization has announced the cancellation of two September events. After consulting with municipal leaders, sponsors and public-health officials, it has canceled the Peninsula Century Fall Challenge scheduled for Sept. 19 and the Hey Hey 5K on Sept. 26. 

“As much as we would love to host our riders and runners this September, it does not justify the risk to public health during the pandemic,” Pacers co-owner David Eliot said. “At a time when so many of us are making great sacrifices to keep our neighbors safe, we do not believe that it would be prudent for us to move forward with these events.”

The Fall Challenge attracts more than 700 riders to Sister Bay each September. The ride is staged at Waterfront Park with rest stops at local, state and county parks and a post-ride celebration with live music and food at the finish line. Access to those public spaces is limited or not available because of the pandemic. 

“We’re unable at this time to put on an event that even resembles what we are accustomed to doing, so it makes sense for us to hold off on this year’s ride,” Pacers co-owner Brian Fitzgerald said.

He also lamented the impact the cancellations will have on partner nonprofits.

A group of runners approaches the finish line of Saturday’s Hey Hey 5k in Baileys Harbor. Photo by Len Villano.

“Many of our volunteers come from nonprofits that rely on these events as major fundraising opportunities,” he said. “We encourage our participants to donate or volunteer with these organizations.”

Hey Hey 5K race director Myles Dannhausen Jr. said canceling the run staged at Baileys Harbor Autumnfest weekend was the right thing to do. 

“There will be plenty of opportunities for us to race in the future, so it doesn’t make any sense for us to host a large gathering that could put our participants, volunteers or others at risk,” Dannhausen said. 

Those who have already signed up for the events may defer their entry to 2021. Please log in to your Race Roster account and visit the store to select which ride you would like to participate in next year: the Peninsula Century Spring Classic or Peninsula Century Fall Challenge.  Contact Jordan Burress at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

The Peninsula Pacers has previously canceled three June events: the Peninsula Century Spring Classic bike ride, the Door County Beer Festival and the Door County Wine Festival. The Pacers also organize the Door County Half Marathon, which was originally scheduled for May 2 but was postponed until Oct. 31. A decision on the status of that event will be made at the end of August, Fitzgerald said. 

Peninsula Pacers’ Partner Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations raised more than $18,000 through their help at Peninsula Pacers events in 2019, and even more through funds raised at the events. Many of these organizations also rely on the many other silent-sports events that have been canceled in 2020, including the Door County Triathlon, Hairpin Run, Crossroads Run and Blossom Run. 

The Peninsula Pacers organization encourages participants to continue supporting these nonprofits through donations or volunteer work: Baileys Harbor A’s; BookNook Gardens; Climate Change Coalition of Door County; Door County Silent Sports Alliance; Door County YMCA; Egg Harbor Historical Society; Friends of Gibraltar School; Friends of Peninsula State Park; Gibraltar Booster Club; Gibraltar’s Washington, D.C. Fundraising; Jacksonport Women’s Club; Peninsula Golf Association; Peninsula Preschool; Rotary Club of Door County North; Sevastopol Destination Imagination; Sevastopol Music, Arts &; Theater Guild; Sevastopol Track & Field; Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church; St. Peter School; Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol Wrestling Club; The Clearing; Thumbs Up Riders; T.J. Walker Middle School’s Washington, D.C. Trip; and Zion Lutheran Church.


Related Organizations