February 3, 2011 |

Winter triathlon set for Saturday, Feb. 12

Haines Animal Rescue Kennel and the Southeast Alaska State Fair will host the free "Hooves and Paws Winter Tune-up" Saturday, Feb. 12, with outdoor games and a triathlon.

"We’re just going to do it as a way to get the names of the organizations out in the community and provide an opportunity for people to get out and get active in the middle of February, when the weather is less than ideal," said Jessica Edwards, the fair’s assistant director.

Participants will gather in the parking lot of the Haines School for a 10:30 a.m. 5K family run or walk. Guests are to park on the west side of the school, due to a basketball tournament there that day.

The 11 a.m. triathlon includes a half-mile swim, 5K run and 10K bike. Unlike a traditional triathlon, the course ends with the bike ride, on Third Avenue, Small Tracts Road and Cemetery Hill. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, cross-country skiing will replace biking.

"You’ll start at the school, and then you go up through the fairgrounds, so more like a 5K cross-country ski," Edwards said. "We’re not going to make people bike on the road if it’s snowing."

The triathlon is open to individuals, as well as teams of two or three, and costumes are encouraged.

"This is the time of year where it’s really hard to get outside and get motivated, so this is a chance for us all to get together and draw on each other’s motivation to stay active," Edwards said.

She said winners will earn "informal prizes."

Along with the two road events, the "Hooves and Paws Winter Tune-up" is set to offer coed pick-up basketball on the outdoor courts, coed pick-up soccer, an egg toss, tug of war and other games.

"We’re going to have contingencies," Edwards said. "If it snows, we did the Winter Olympics last year. We’ve got plenty of snow options."

Cornbread and vegetarian and meat chili will be served for $5, with free coffee and hot chocolate.