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

Triathlon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Another election, another anomaly

Monday’s “double-tie” election is generating some free publicity for the Yukon as Outside news agencies scramble to find someone to interview.

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Most Read