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February 8, 2016

Winona Forest Hosts Skiing, Snowshoe and Fat Bike Events Feb. 20, Feb. 27 and March 5

BOYLSTON and MANNSVILLE, NY - Now in its 36th year, the Winona Forest Recreation Association will host the annual Winona Forest Tourathon Saturday, Feb. 20. The competitive and recreational cross-country ski event is the first of three consecutive winter recreation events at the sprawling 9,000-acre state forest in northern Oswego and southern Jefferson counties.

On Feb. 27, Winona will host the Snofatshu Fat Bike and Snowshoe Duathlon, and, on March 5 the IditaFat Bike Race. Events will start and finish at the CCC Camp, County Route 90, Mannsville.

Winona is home to more than 30 miles of multi-use cross country ski, snowshoe, hiking, and mountain biking trails, as well as almost 40 miles of separate snowmobile trails. The trails are groomed and maintained by volunteer members of the Winona Forest Recreation Association.

A winter tradition for many families of skiers, the Feb. 20 Tourathon features distances of 12.5km, 25km or 50km in several age categories. Skiers can register on https://www.skireg.com/3940 or register the day of the race at Winona. The first 50 registrants will receive a commemorative "Winona Tourathon" race beanie

"We realize the Tourathon is more than just a race, it is a tradition for many skiers. It's a time to be with old friends, to celebrate winter, and life," said Carolyn Rees, president of Winona Forest Recreation Association. "After the outpouring of positive feedback and support from last year's event, we will keep the format much the same this year. Great food will be available when skiers finish the race, as will an abundance of Tourathon apparel."

Races start at 8 a.m. for the 50 km and at 8:30 a.m. for 12.5 km and 25 km distances. The 50km segment is dedicated in honor of Walter Chapman, a long-time Tourathon supporter and competitor. The oldest finisher will receive the Walter Chapman award. The top three male and female finishes in each distance will also receive awards.

The Feb. 27 Snofatshu race consists of a snowshoe jaunt of approximately 3 km of groomed single-track, arriving back at the transition area to send the partner racer out with the fat bike for 12.5 km of fat trail action. Once back, the snowshoe runner will head out for the final lap. Competitors can race solo or on teams of two. The fat bike portion will take place on the IditaFat race course, and the snowshoe portion on the Winona Stone Wall trail.

The duathlon is sponsored by Winona Adventure Racing and Stickboy Coffee. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Winona Forest Recreation Association. Equipment requirements, entry fees and registration information are posted at www.trireg.com

For more information on the Snofatshu race, contact Matt Westerlund, e-mail snowshoerace@gmail.com

Fat tire bikes will take to Winona's trails again on Saturday, March 5, with the IditaFat Tire Bike Race. The event is sponsored by the Winona Forest Recreation Association, Epic Outdoor Adventures and Stickboy Coffee.

The race begins at 8 a.m. and offers one or two loop distances of 12 km or 25 km with a Le Mans start. The course will be on ski trail widths of 6 to 10 feet.

"The IditaFat Bike Race truly distinguishes itself from other races, as Winona's experienced crew of volunteer groomers, many of whom are fat bikers themselves, maintain the trails multiple times a week, using a diverse arsenal of equipment," said Rees.

The race is limited to 80 cyclists. Awards and refreshments will follow the race. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Winona Forest Recreation Association to help maintain grooming machinery and management of the trails.

The race will take place snow or no snow. Race organizers reserve the right to cancel the race in the event of extreme weather conditions. Race fees are nonrefundable.

For more information on the IditaFat, visit www.iditafat.com.

For event updates and trail conditions visit www.winonaforest.com or www.facebook.com/pages

To reach the CCC Camp, take Mannsville Exit 39 off I-81. Follow County Rte. 90 east through the village of Mannsville, crossing Rte. 11. Continue east for approximately six miles. CCC Camp Buildings and parking are on the left at the intersection of Bargy Road.

For visitor information and more Oswego County winter events, go to visitoswegocounty.com


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