December 13, 2019

WCCC students design triathlon

CALAIS – It may be the first triathlon in this part of the state, but students at the Washington County Community College hope it’s not the last.

Participants will bike, run, canoe and kayak, all on the same day.

Jonah Bloom, 19, of China and Chelsea LeValley, 19, of Montville, students in the college’s adventure-recreation program, came up with the proposal as part of a second-year class project.

They designed the first Downeast Adventure Race 2006, and their instructor, Scott Frazier, approved the idea.

The students want to raise enough money to pay for a student staff member for the college’s adventure center.

They also would like to establish a scholarship fund.

Both are second-year students in a course called the Capstone Project, Frazier said.

“That course is intended to give students hands-on experience with developing a tourism project, particularly in the adventure tourism market. They develop the product, they come up with a budget, they promote and market it and then they deliver the project. In this case they’ve chosen to do an adventure race.”

And the daylong activity is not for the faint of heart.

The race will begin at the college. The first leg is a 12.3-mile mountain bike ride through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. That will be followed by a 3.6-mile whitewater canoe challenge on the St. Croix River. Then it’s a 2.3-mile run to where sea kayaks will be waiting near the Ferry Point Bridge, followed by a 2.9-mile paddle back to the college.

This is not a relay race; all three team participants must remain within 50 feet of each other. “It’s for safety. As a team you work together and you’re only as fast as your slowest person and everyone has something special to offer,” Bloom said.

Employees at the Domtar Inc. pulp and paper mill in Baileyville will control the dams affecting the whitewater canoe trip.

The group is looking for sponsors. Cadillac Mountain Sports of Bar Harbor, Calais Federal Savings and Loan, and Cobscook Hikes and Paddles of Robbinston are sponsors, along with St. Croix Valley Healthy Communities of Calais, North Atlantic ShipBuilding and Repair of Montville, and the Calais High School Outdoor Adventure Club.

Those who don’t have their own equipment can rent it for a fee from the college. To rent equipment, call Scott Frazier at 454-1000. Registration is limited to 20 teams. Information is available at

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29. Registration must be completed by Friday, April 21. Teams must report at 9 a.m. before the start of the race. The cost is $50. Teams include three racers and one support person. Participants must be 15 or older.

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