Tucson resident Evelyn Sedivy Cowing’s plans to co-pilot in a cross country air race set to start today were cut short due to weather delays that caused her team to withdraw from the competition.

Sedivy Cowing, 76, and her pilot, Diane Bartels, began their journey last Tuesday from Lincoln, Nebraska, where Bartels lives, to the starting point of the 2014 Air Race Classic in Concord, California. The arrival deadline for the race was noon on June 13, but the team was unable to get there on time.

“Weather has been a continuous problem from the beginning, with a one and a half day delay getting out of Lincoln and then tremendous headwinds across Nebraska and Wyoming which put us further behind schedule,” Cowing said in an email.

With an unexpected overnight stay in Rock Springs, Wyoming, combined with the forecasted weather and a route that would take them through rugged high terrain, the pair knew it would not be possible to meet the arrival deadline and chose to withdraw from the race, according to her email.

“It was a heartbreaking decision to make but after much discussion and consideration, we mutually agreed it was the right decision,” she wrote.

The Air Race Classic would have been Cowing’s first air race since she decided last year to return to the skies after a 30-year hiatus from flying.