Trail challenge honors Les Haas

Les Haas, a former member of the Elk County Conservation District and Waterways Conservation Officer with the Pa. Fish an Boat Commission, died unexpectedly seven months ago, but his memory will be kept alive Sept. 22 with the 1st Annual Les Haas Memorial Trail Challenge."Les was an avid outdoorsman and was involved in many conservation efforts," said Elk County Conservation District Manager Steve Putt. "Les passed away earlier this year and we wanted to do something to honor and remember him. We decided to call our trail race the Les Haas Memorial Trail Challenge in his honor."The event will be held on the Laurel Mill Ski Trail in the Allegheny National Forest, near Ridgway, on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m.Two distances will be offered for the runners and walkers. A 16K [kilometers] race will be available to the runners who are looking for a long distance challenge and a more traditional 5K race is also available.The race course will consist of one loop for the 5K and a series of different loops for the 16K. The terrain includes several rolling hills and surface of the trail will consist of a mixture of dirt, gravel, grasses, leaves and other forest debris.