Midcoast Conservancy will host its eighth annual biathlon at Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson on Saturday, Feb. 29. All ages and skill levels are encouraged to participate. Racers can compete individually or in teams of four, and everyone is encouraged to compete in costume.
Biathlon is an Olympic sport that combines cross country skiing and target shooting. This year, the race will include a fat bike option as well, where racers bike rather than ski. Midcoast Conservancy’s event is a twist on the classic, using paintball rifles. All rifles are provided by Midcoast Conservancy, and each racer will receive safety training on how to use the rifle. Snowshoe racers are welcome.
Races will begin about 9 a.m. and continue into the early afternoon. All day long there will be bonfires and spectators are encouraged. Biathlon fans should consider volunteering if they are not planning to race; the race volunteer crew can always use extra hands.
Race categories are based on self-selected skill levels upon pre-race check in, and there is a special category for youth racers. Awards will be given out for best costume, best team name, and for youth and high school aged participants. The Biathlon will held even if there is no snow; trail running will replace skiing in that case. Postponement will be for dangerous conditions only.
Registration fees are $20 for adults, $10 for kids and students. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited and prices go up $5 per participant on Feb. 23. Register at https://www.midcoastconservancy.org/events/midcoast-conservancy-biathlon-3/
Day-of registrations as space allows.
Anyone wanting to brush the rust off their ski skills should consider the adult cross-country ski clinic at HVNC on two consecutive Sundays, Feb. 9 and 16. Veteran skiers and ski coaches will help boost participants’ confidence and skill on skis; ski rentals are available. The two-day course is $30 for members and $35 for non-members. More information and registration at https://www.midcoastconservancy.org/events/adult-xc-ski-clinic-at-hvnc-2/
A kids’ cross-country ski clinic will run for six Saturdays, from Jan. 4 to Feb. 8, 9:30-11 a.m., at HVNC. This clinic is the perfect setting for skiers of different levels to gain skills and confidence while enjoying HVNC’s trails. Instructors use creative, non-competitive methods to get the skiers out on the trails having fun each week. The course is $70 for Midcoast Conservancy members, $80 for non-members. Register at https://www.midcoastconservancy.org/events/youth-cross-country-ski-clinic/
Anyone having questions should call Midcoast Conservancy at (207) 389-5150.