Hague to host Olympic, sprint races

HAGUE The second annual North Country Triathlon is expected to attract 350 competitors. The swim-bike-run race will start and finish in Hague Saturday, June 28. The North Country Triathlon, which features an Olympic distance event, has added a sprint race this year. The Olympic distance race includes 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run. It is open to relay teams as well as individual athletes. The sprint race includes a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run. Both races will start at the Lake George Land Conservancy beach, adjacent to Hague Beach. Swimmers will go south towards Jenkins Point and return. Competitors will then mount their bikes. The 40K course heads to Ticonderoga and up Chilson hill and back, while the 20K course go south on Route 8 up Graphite Mountain to West Hague Road to the New Hague Road back to the beach. Both runs will go south on Route 9N toward Silver Bay and back. Last year more than 150 athletes ran, biked and swam the Olympic distance. Upon competing the triathlon, competitor Stephen J. Quirk said, This was one, if not, the best race I've done in the last six years. The weather was perfect. The venue was great. I cursed that killer hill on the way up, but after the turn around and before the awesome decent, the view was picture perfect. The support staff and volunteers were the best. I had a great time, and will be back for sure next year. Zachary Staszak won the inaugural North Country Triathlon, swimming, biking and running nearly 31 miles in slightly more than two hours. Staszak completed the swim in 20 minutes, 57 seconds; the bike in 1:12:02 and the run in 38:39 for a winning time of 2:13:06. Heidi Underwood of Queensbury was the first woman in the race in 2:34:11. She was 24:17 in the swim, 1:26:46 on the bike and 41:16 in the run. Race coordinator Randy Engler expects an even larger turnout in 2008. These events always attract people who wish to improve themselves and be a part of something larger, he said. Good attracts good and I think triathlons represent this notion perfectly. Engler anticipates that the race will reach capacity this year at 350 competitors. For triathletes looking to challenge themselves in the beautiful Lake George area, the North Country Triathlon will be returning on June 28, said Brian Remmel, race spokesman. Building on the success of its inaugural race, the event provides a world-class race while generating interest and funding for several important social and environmental issues. The race benefits several charities and environmental causes. The event represents my attempt to create a high-quality, environmentally low-impact race that benefits not only our broad community of racers, and small communities around Lake George, but also regional and international charities such as The Hope Lodge of Burlington and Room-To-Read, Engler said. Last year the race raised $4,500 for The American Cancer Societys Hope Lodge of Burlington, Vt. The facility provides accommodations, aid and transportation to cancer patients seeking treatment far from their own homes each year. For more information go online at www.NorthCountryTri.com

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