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Contoocook Carry Triathlon on Saturday will raise funds for fuel assistance

While participants paddle, bike and run in the Contoocook Carry Triathlon tomorrow afternoon, they’ll also be working to prevent Hopkinton residents from being left in the cold this winter.

The triathlon is a fundraiser for the Contoocook Carry Fund, which provides fuel assistance to Hopkinton residents. “It’s a heartwarming race,” said Mary Congoran, organizer of the triathlon.

The fundraiser was established in 2002 and was initially named the Carr-Shumway Triathlon, named for Robbie Carr and Jake Shumway, who died in an accident in 2000. The money was used to build the Spirit Skate Park, which was renovated and reopened this year.

“About five or six years ago we dedicated it totally to fuel systems . . . it’s just a huge need,” Congoran said. “Everything from the triathlon goes in the Contoocook Carry Fund.”

Congoran explained that the fund is a gift to the town of Hopkinton; all proceeds from the triathlon, as well as donations that are mailed in, are put toward the fund, which town administrators can use to provide fuel assistance to people in need during the winter.

In addition to accepting monetary donations, direct donations of wood are also collected; the Wood for Warmth program through the Sean Powers Wood Bank helps provide wood for heating. “It all works together,” Congoran said of the triathlon and assistance programs that she has worked to establish.

Each November, volunteers spend a day preparing the donated wood and delivering it to those in need of support during the winter. “It’s just a huge community effort,” Congoran said. “There’s just a million people to thank.”

This year’s volunteer day of spliting and stacking wood is scheduled for Nov. 15. Congoran said she thinks this winter will be as harsh, in terms of temperatures and snow.

The Contoocook Carry starts at Hopkinton High School at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow with a 2-mile run, a 1½-mile paddle and a 14-mile bike ride that will return to the high school. Congoran said the race, staffed by volunteers, is challenging but fun, and participants include families, teams, children and individuals. Last year, there were about 60 teams with varied numbers of team members that participated, she said. “It’s a tough race but it’s also lighthearted,” she said.

Same-day registration will be available tomorrow, beginning at 11 a.m. For more information about the Contoocook Carry Triathlon or fund, visit or call 568-2783. For more information about Wood for Warmth and the Sean Powers Wood Bank, visit

(Susan Doucet can be reached at 369-3324, or on Twitter @susan_doucet.)

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