With winter snow on the mountains, the annual skiathon from Friends of Harriman State Park has skiers heading out to Island Park on Feb. 28.
Jodi Stiehl, president of Friends of Harriman State Park, said she created Feathers ‘n’ Fins Skiathon in 2009 as a cross-country winter marathon where people of all athletic abilities could participate.
In this Eastern Idaho marathon of cross-country skiing about an hour drive north from Rexburg, there will be over 24 miles of groomed Nordic skiing trails throughout the mountain slopes.
Stiehl said Idahoans began to discover Harriman State Park for both downhill and cross-country skiing in 1982, when the park opened to the public.
“Friends of Harriman is a non-profit organization which serves as a fundraising partner for Harriman State Park to enhance its natural resources and its visitor experience,” she said. “In 2009, when Idaho Parks and Recreation was faced with an 80 percent budget cut along with talk about dissolving the agency, a gro of us pulled together to form a sport gro for Harriman.”
The annual Skiathon will begin at 11 a.m. on Feb. 28 with classic and skate ski divisions of 7-kilometer, 10-kilometer, and 20-kilometer distances.
“We anticipate to 75 participants this year,” Stiehl said. “Skiathoners have been as young as 6 and as old as 78.”
Particiipants can resigster online or on the day or the event.Online registration fees are $25 per adult and $15 for children 16 and under. The day of the event fees are $35 per adult and $25 for children.
If participants plan on registering the day of the event, registration will begin at 10 a.m., and fees will be an extra $10.
There will be a $5 vehicle fee for all participants when entering the park.
A post-event gathering and fundraising raffle will be held from 1-3 p.m. at TroutHunter Bar and Grill five miles north of Harriman. Participants will receive a 10 percent off coon for the restaurant.
Raffle tickets are $5 or five for $20.
Prizes include Salomon skis, Mimi Matsuda Art, gift certificates, honey, pizza, handmade soap, earrings, T-shirts and more.
Friends of Harriman is accepting donation items for the raffle.
Stiehl said despite the high temperatures of the last two weeks, people continue to go and ski.
If interested in donating or for more details on the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208-558-7368.