BELMONT, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan will soon be added to a very short list of places in the U.S. to host a winter triathlon. The Abominable Snow Tri will take place at Cannonsburg Ski Area on Feb. 19. It’s the first one they’ve ever hosted.

“Last year I saw a few different winter triathlons and I thought well that would be really fun here. We have such a great racing community with running and biking and all that so I thought, why not bring it here?” said race director Erika Chapman.

With the closing of Summit Sports last season, Chapman said the ski area wasn’t able to host its annual swap sale, which typically serves as a fundraiser for the ski patrol team. Chapman has been on that team for 15 years. 

“Everyone on our patrol is a volunteer so we want to try to make it as cost-effective as possible so there are no barriers to join the patrol,” she explained. 

Between losing the ability to host the swap sale and suffering extensive damage to the patrol building in August 2021, Chapman said the fundraiser will be vital in raising funds to support patrollers. The team of 130 people provides free emergency medical care on the ski hill as well as the bike trails. 

“We really rely on donations since we are a volunteer and a nonprofit group. We usually do our own donations, our patrollers, and our own fundraisers so we really rely on that to help train other people and help our patrollers be the best they can be.”

The triathlon features a 5K run, a 10K fat bike, and a 2-mile cross-country ski. Racers have the option to participate in one, two, or all three events. Chapman said it’s been great to see local businesses step up to support the race.

“We’re going to have an awesome post-race party. We have chili donated by Archival Brewing so that’ll be available to every racer, we also have beer that’s going to be donated by Saugatuck Brewing so every racer gets beer and chili. We’re going to have a smores bar that was contributed by Meijer so we’ve got a lot of awesome sponsors.”

More information about the race, including the link to register, can be found here.