HAGUE-The North Country Triathlon continues to grow.
Organizers expect more than 500 athletes for the fifth annual event June 25 in Hague. Registration is now open.
In 2010 nearly 400 people finished the sprint, Olympic and relay races. They hailed from 15 states and five countries.
"The race, which has been growing in size each year, has become a landmark event for the region," said Randy Engler, the race founder.
Volunteer Director Donna Levenstien said the race also attracts more than150 local volunteers as well as and safety and rescue personnel from the area.
"The town of Hague, which stands at the edge of Lake George, provides an amazing backdrop for the race with crystal clear waters for swimmers, rolling hills for runners, and aggressive mountains for cycling," said Race Director John Hartley. "It truly is an athlete's paradise."
The North Country Triathlon is actually three races - a sprint triathlon that includes a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run; an Olympic triathlon that includes a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run; and a relay.
Both races start at the Lake George Land Conservancy beach, adjacent to Hague Beach. Swimmers go south towards Jenkin's Point and return.
Competitors then mount their bikes. The 40K course heads to Ticonderoga and up Chilson hill and back, while the 20K course goes south on Route 8 up Graphite Mountain to West Hague Road to the New Hague Road back to the beach.
Both runs go south on Route 9N toward Silver Bay and back.Terrance Fox was the leading man and Mara Fronhofer the top woman in the sprint race last year. Todd Shatynski was the top man and Michelle Rosowsky the first woman in the Olympic tri in 2010.
The sprint race had 164 finishers, the Olympic race 137 finishers and the relay attracted 12 teams.
Proceeds from the North Country Triathlon go to charity.
Among the charities the race supports is The Hope Lodge of Burlington, a "home away from home" for cancer patients receiving treatment at Burlington's Fletcher-Allen cancer center. Engler chose The Hope Lodge as a way to honor his mother and his sister, who are both cancer survivors.
"We're excited to announce that by the close of our fifth race, we'll have donated over $15,000 to our charity partners," said Engler, who spent his childhood summers exploring the shores of Lake George. "I can't thank our sponsors and many volunteers enough. This has been truly an amazing experience."
Sponsors of the fifth annual North Country Triathlon include the Town of Hague, Green Mountain Coffee, Silver Bay YMCA, Codino's Foods, Lake George Mirror, Hague Chamber of Commerce, Warren Country Board of Tourism, MojoMotors.com, XTERRA Wetsuits, IZZE Sparkling Juices, TD Bank and Zatista.com.
For race registration, volunteer opportunities, sponsor requests and other information go online at www.northcountrytri.com.