The sport of summer biathlon - running and rifle marksmanship - is led by the PA Biathlon Club, which organizes events at Altoona, Oil Creek State Park and Whitetail Preserve (near Bloomsburg). The range at Whitetail is the only regulation biathlon range in the state and was host to the 2008 summer national championships. The summer biathlons conducted by the club draw the largest crowd of any East coast summer biathlon events, averaging about 60 participants. Typically the event format is a mile run, followed by 5 shots at a target and a short penalty loop for each shot missed. This is repeated and then followed by a third and final mile run. The summer biathlons are open to all interested individuals and are beginner friendly, with all equipment and instruction provided.
The nearest winter biathlon events are in NY, organized by the Syracuse and Saratoga Biathlon Clubs, and in VT, at the Ethan Allen National Guard Center by the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club. These combine cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship. In MI, Cross Country Ski HQ hold a fun paintball biathlon weekend, usually in March.
PA Biathlon Club
The PA Biathlon club was founded in 1995 and promotes biathlon as a safe, fun, lifetime activity for all ages. The club organizes events and provides training and instruction. Information is exchanged through the club newsletter and dues are only $12 per year. Several club members have competed internationally, and club vice president, Doug Hoover, head cross country and track coach at St. Francis University, is a 5 time national Champ.