Competitors paddle through the slough between Mosquito Lake and the Chilkat River during the 2017 Chilkat Challenge. (Gene Cornelius/Chilkat Challenge Triathlon)

Chilkat Challenge Triathlon returns for second year of racing

‘One of our goals is to celebrate what this river means to the community’

The Chilkat Challenge Triathlon is back again this year for its second annual race in the Haines, Alaska area and this year looks to be bigger and better than the inaugural race.

Participants will paddle, bike and run approximately 63 km from Mosquito Lake along the Chilkat River all the way to Chilkat State Park during the race on July 1.

Race marshal Gershon Cohen said registration is already significantly higher than last year’s turnout of between 40 and 50 participants.

“This year, we’re already almost double that and I’m expecting by the time people finish signing up in the next few weeks we’ll probably have 100 participants,” said Cohen.

This year’s race will be longer than last year’s thanks to some route changes.

Paddlers will leave the water approximately 1.5 km sooner than last year in Klukwan, Alaska.

Construction in the village to improve the road and build a cultural centre meant the creation of an eddy that Cohen said is a good place for a transition zone.

“There is an eddy created there that is actually going to be able to accommodate more boats safely,” said Cohen. “So folks will paddle from Mosquito Lake through the slough into the Chilkat River and go down the Chilkat River to Klukwan.”

Once they reach dry land, participants will bike just more than 35 km to Fort Seward. From there, it’s a 15 kilometre run to the finish line in Chilkat State Park.

Cohen said the race, hosted by the Alaska Clean Water Advocacy, is designed to remind people how important the river is to the area.

“One of our goals is to celebrate what this river means to the community and to make sure that people understand how much a healthy river here in the Chilkat Valley means to the community,” said Cohen.

“We thought it’s great to celebrate things — it’s always a great way to reach people and get people to understand the value that things have — so we decided to put on this race a few years ago as a way to bring attention to the river and what the river provides to the community.”

Participants can compete as individuals or as teams of either two or three people.

New this year, two people will be allowed in a canoe or kayak.

How the race is split up between team members is up to each team.

“If you have a team of two people, one person can bike and run — any combination you want,” said Cohen. “You can have one person in the boat or two people in the boat, and those would be considered separate categories.”

Also new this year is the inclusion of stand-up paddleboards as an option for traversing the river.

Cohen said there haven’t been any takers yet.

“I can’t wait to see someone go down the Chilkat River on a stand-up paddleboard,” said Cohen. “That would be so cool.”

Following the race, there is an awards ceremony and banquet featuring prizes from local, regional and national sponsors.

“There will be a lot of great prizes for people who finish at the top,” said Cohen. “There is going to be food and music, so it should be a lot of fun the whole day.”

Registration for the race is open until June 15 and participants can sign up through the race’s website, www.chilkatchallengetriathlon.com.

Participants in the race are required to attend a pre-race meeting at the parade grounds in Haines the night before the race.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon government releases WCC inspection report

The report contains 40 recommendations on how facilities and services at the WCC should be improved

No new forensic unit planned for Whitehorse’s hospital

Justice says hospital may expand services it offers inmates but not enough to qualify as ‘forensic’

NDP decries lack of ‘urgency’ in governments response to WCC inspection

‘The reality is that the longer this goes on the less humane our prison system is in the territory’

Whitehorse Correctional Centre report a ‘starting point’ to address justice system issues, CYFN says

CYFN executive director Shadelle Chambers says the justice system ‘requires fundamental changes’

Paddlers ride down the Yukon River in the annual Chili and Beans Race

‘We’re always trying to find ways to keep people active’

Gymkhana tests Yukon horses and riders

‘I don’t ever want somebody to leave feeling like they didn’t accomplish some kind of goal’

Whitehorse volunteers turn to GoFundMe to raise cash for thrift store

The Whitehorse Community Thrift Store is hoping to raise $70,000 in ‘seed money’

The air up there: why you should buy a plane

Hell is other people. If you own a plane you can fly away from them

What to ask when you take your car to the shop

A visit to your garage, tire shop, dealership or repair shop can… Continue reading

Whitehorse resident Steve Roddick announces bid for council

Housing, consultation top list of priorities

Cozens, Team Canada off to strong start at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Canada rolls through Switzerland and Slovakia to set up showdown with Sweden

Selkirk First Nation says chinook salmon numbers similar to last year’s

Sonar on the Pelly River had counted just more than 7,900 chinook as of Aug. 5

Most Read