By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
You don’t have to wait until warmer weather to complete a marathon. The Winona Forest Tourathon in Mannsville offers 12.5K, 25K and 50K distance cross-country ski races Feb. 9, starting and ending at the CCC Camp in Winona Forest. More than 200 skiers competed last year. The race involves planned routes that loop through the forest.
The event has grown so much in popularity than its post-race venue was moved last year to more spacious digs, the Mannsville Elementary School.
It’s easy to see why the Tourathon has become a race that draws competitors from several states and Canada. The Winona Forest boasts more than 70 miles of scenic, groomed cross-country ski trails, maintained by the all-volunteer Winona Forest Recreation Association. The trails include parts of both the Winona Forest and Jefferson County Forest Preserve.
Racers can look forward to favorable weather conditions. With an average 200 to 300 inches of annual snowfall in the forest, it’s a pretty sure bet skiers won’t face the disappointment of a green race day.
The 50K segment of the race is known as the Walter Chapman 50K. The oldest finisher of the 50K segment receives the Walter Chapman Award. Organizers will present the awards at the CCC Camp.
After the event, racers can shower, share a meal, and socialize at the Mannsville Elementary School. Tourathon apparel is also available.
Race day registration is available. For the 12.5K, it’s $35; for the 25k, $45; and the 50k is $70. For students, it’s $20.
Spectators may watch for free.
Race day registration runs from 6:30 through 7:30 a.m.
The race start time is 8 a.m., following a rendition of the National Anthem, for the 50k. At 8:30, the 12.5k and 25k distances commence racing. The race finishes by 1 p.m.
Register at www.skireg.com. Check www.winonaforest.com for directions and event updates. To view a map of the race, visit
The Winona Forest Recreation Association is seeking more committee members, trail crew members and event volunteers. Anyone interested in helping should contact the organization at www.winonaforest.com/contact-us.html.