Dean Orbison and Aaron Prussian are two of the many staff who organize Sitka’s Julie Hughes Triathlon. The event this year is Saturday, May 20. Individuals and teams can register online at any time, or in person at Blatchley Middle School the afternoon of Friday, May 19.

Downloadable audio.

The Julie Hughes Triathlon is a tribute to Julie Hughes, who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 15, in February 1985. During Julie’s treatment and through a period of remission she talked with her swim coach, Siouxha Tokman, and said one day she wanted to do a triathlon.

Although Julie was never able to realize that dream, Tokman and Julie’s parents, Bill and Carol Hughes, organized Sitka’s first run-bike-swim triathlon in May 1985. Now 32 years old, the Julie Hughes Triathlon remains one of the community’s longest-running events.

The triathlon includes 5 mile run, 14 mile bike ride, and 1,000 yard swim. There is a special short course for the 12 and under participants. Athletes can compete on a team or as an individual. Proceeds from this event are donated to the Sitka Cancer Survivors Network.