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Tsalteshi trails await athletes

Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2006

 

  Ex-borough mayor Dale Bagley (right) and current borough mayor John Williams (second from right) and other local designee's cut ribbon to open biathlon at Skyview High School. Photo By Allan Rudisill

Ex-borough mayor Dale Bagley (right) and current borough mayor John Williams (second from right) and other local designee's cut ribbon to open biathlon at Skyview High School.

Photo By Allan Rudisill

Groomed and in good condition is how the expected 60 Arctic Winter Games athletes for cross-country skiing, the ski biathlon and the snowshoe biathlon will find the course.

The Tsalteshi trails, where the three events will take place, are located about 100 meters from the Skyview High School parking lot and have ample space for parking and spectators.

On Friday, the trails were open to the public. Many local residents tested the trail and range and found them to their liking.

“It’s perfect right now,” said Taylor Karnikis of Kasilof.

Karnikis, who is part of Team Alaska and is participating in the ski biathlon, said he does not expect the conditions to change.

The trails consist of five interconnected loops that total 15 kilometers in length and share a common start and finish.

The biathlon shooting range has 20 shooting stations with metal drop-down targets, a lead collection system to minimize environmental impact and a 150-meter penalty loop.

“It’s better or as good as any range I’ve been through,” said Karnikis, who has competed in the Games before.

For biathlon events, the area next to the firing range will hold coaches and spectators.

Training will be held Sunday for cross-country skiing and snowshoe biathlon, with training on Monday evening for ski biathlon, according to the Arctic Winter Games schedule. Competition begins on Monday for cross county skiing and snowshoe biathlon, and Tuesday for ski biathlon.

The Tsalteshi Trail Association is a volunteer association that maintains and grooms the trails year-round.



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