HAGUE - For triathletes looking to challenge themselves in the waters and hills around Lake George, the North Country Triathlon will return this June.
It is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, at 8 a.m., starting and finishing in Hague.
The event provides an athletic event, while generating interest and funding for several social and environmental issues.
Race founder Randy Engler expects the number of participants in this year's event to effectively double to more than 400. He attributes much of this growth to discussions in the racing community.
"Word is really getting around that the North Country Triathlon is unique from other races in a number of ways," Engler said. "We are a relatively small race in terms of overall numbers, but racers are finding this to be a huge plus. It makes for an extremely well-organized and intimate race.
"The North Country Triathlon offers racers two of the most challenging Olympic and Sprint distance courses out there," he added. "Add to this a group of wonderful and encouraging volunteers, an environmentally-conscious approach to how the event is run, held in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, and you have a winning combination. We really couldn't ask for more."
The North Country Triathlon continues to not only benefit the small communities around Lake George, but also regional and international charities such as The Hope Lodge of Burlington and Room-To-Read, and One Percent For The Planet.
Each year the race raises funds to help these organizations continue their goals of improving the lives of other in the areas of health, education and the environment.
Kevin Crossman, a physical education teacher and swim coach at South Glens Falls High, won the second annual North Country Triathlon in 2008.
Crossman completed the Olympic-distance course of 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 20 seconds.
Paul Fronhofer of Argyle took second place this year in 2:23:57.
Sara McGrath of Oak Harbor was the first woman in 2:35:08, eighth overall.
Topher Robinson of Crown Point was the top local finisher, taking 14th place in 2:40:40.
The triathlon expanded last year to include a sprint race, which was made up of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5K run.
Leslie Reap of Merrimack won the sprint event in 1:29:22 finish. Peter Smith Jr. of Fort Edward finished second with a time of 1:30:45.
More than 220 athletes took part. It also included a team event.
Both races started at the Lake George Land Conservancy beach, adjacent to Hague Beach. Swimmers went south towards Jenkin's Point and returned.
Competitors then mounted their bikes. The 40K course headed to Ticonderoga and up Chilson hill and back, while the 20K course went south on Route 8 up Graphite Mountain to West Hague Road to the New Hague Road back to the beach.
Both runs went south on Route 9N toward Silver Bay and back.
For more information on the North Country Triathlon, learn about the charities it supports, volunteer or to register for this year's event, visit www.NorthCountryTri.com