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Primitive Snowshoe Biathlon slated for March 2 and 3

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OGDENSBURG - The second annual St. Lawrence Valley Primitive Snowshoe Biathlon, organized by the Fort La Présentation Association and Forsyth’s Rifles, will be hosted by the Massena Rod and Gun Club Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Early registration is $15. The mail-in registration form can be downloaded from the Fort La Présentation Association Web Site www.fort1749.org. The completed form with check enclosed must be received before February 27. Registration the day of the event is $18. Pre-registration is encouraged.

The primitive snowshoe biathlon, a fundraiser for the Fort La Présentation Association, is dedicated this year to the memory of the late Jack Gray who passed away in 2012.

“We are honoring Jack because he was our very first sponsor when we began the biathlon last year,” said Fred Hanss, the principal organizer. “He was a long-time supporter of the Fort Association, a master gunsmith and co-owner of Grays Guns in Lisbon, New York.”

The biathlon has classes for Youth (12-18), Men (18 and over), Ladies (18 and over) and a Men and Ladies Elder Class (60 and over). Participants have two-entry options for one-and-a-half mile wooded course, the non-competitive “woods walk” or a competitive, timed event for which prizes will be awarded.

The three divisions are Primitive Rifle, Primitive Smoothbore and Modern In-Line. Competitors in the primitive divisions must run the course on traditional, wooden snowshoes, while in-line shooters have the option of using wooden or modern snowshoes. Snowshoes must be carried if there is light snow cover.

Participants fire their muzzleloader twice at each of the five firing stations. At the sixth and final station, participants throw a tomahawk. Runs are timed and for each target hit five minutes are deducted from the running time.

Committed event sponsors are The Fort La Presentation Association, Forsyth’s Rifles, the Massena Rod and Gun Club, The Canadian Friends of Fort de La Présentation, St. Lawrence Long Rifles and the New York State Muzzleloader’s Association.

As a warm-up for the biathlon, the St. Lawrence Long Rifles will hold a black powder shoot the first Saturday of February 2013 from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Norfolk Rod and Gun Club.

The St. Lawrence Valley Primitive Snowshoe Biathlon is modeled after the popular Smugglers’ Notch Primitive Biathlon and is one of six biathlons scheduled across New York and New England in early 2013 (http://www.primitivebiathlon.com/Calendar.htm for the schedule of events).

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