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Organizers hope to have more people help out for the July 20-21 event. Food will be provided.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Henry Hagg Lake will play host to races and trail runs this weekend.If you love the outdoors, have some free time this weekend and want to support local athletics, this might be the volunteer opportunity for you.

For the 37th year, the Hagg Lake Triathlon & Trail Festival is coming to western Washington County on Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21. Between 750 and 800 athletes from all over the world are expected to participate.

But an event of that size needs people to support it. Sherri McMillian of Why Racing Events, which organizes the annual triathlon and trail runs, says there is still a big need for volunteers to help out with everything from passing out water at stations along the race course, to paddleboarding and kayaking on Henry Hagg Lake to keep an eye on triathletes who are swimming, to greeting finishers and giving them medals, to serving as course marshals to make sure participants aren't going the wrong way.

"Saturday is definitely our big, busier day that we need support," McMillian told the News-Times. "But we need volunteers on both days, Saturday and Sunday."

Saturday is when most of the competitive events are held: Olympic and sprint triathlons, Olympic and sprint duathlons, and Olympic and sprint AquaBikes (essentially a duathlon in which the two legs of the race are swimming and biking).

On Sunday, there will be off-road triathlon, duathlon and AquaBike races, but there will also be 5K and half-marathon trail runs. McMillian said some trail run participants choose to treat it as more of a hike than a serious race.

The 5K trail run is a family-friendly event. Anyone under 18 can participate for free along with a registered adult.

"That's kind of cool to get kids off their devices and get them out exploring," McMillian said.

The races start at 8 a.m., so volunteers are expected to arrive between 6 and 7 a.m., depending on their duties.

Each volunteer gets a T-shirt. Food and refreshments are provided to all volunteers.

Shifts are generally four to five hours, although they run shorter for paddleboard and kayak volunteers because swimming is the shortest part of each race. Volunteers are welcome to stay after their shift ends and cheer on race participants or just enjoy the park.

"It's a fun, inspiring day," McMillian said.

Money raised from the Hagg Lake Triathlon & Trail Festival goes to support local high school sports programs and nonprofits, according to Why Racing Events, which puts on similar events across Oregon and Washington.

The Hagg Lake Triathlon & Trail Festival kicks off at Boat Ramp C on Henry Hagg Lake, in Scoggins Valley Park.

Anyone interested in volunteering can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For anyone interested in participating, registration is available on the event website.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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