* CALLING ALL MULTI-TASKERS: The Bethesda Center of Excellence combines fun and focus in its annual whitewater triathlon, the 14th of which will be held on Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon on and along the Potomac River. The BCE, a U.S. Whitewater Canoe and Kayak team training center, combines in one race a run of about 3.5 miles, a four-mile bike ride and a three-mile canoe or kayak trip down the Class III-IV whitewater of Little Falls. You can compete in all three or be part of a relay team (especially if you are not confident about your paddling). The entry fee is $20 (plus $5 for non-USA Canoe Kayak members). Download forms at http://ccadc.org/bce/02BCETRI.html and mail to BCE Whitewater Triathlon, 6211 Ridge Dr., Bethesda, Md., 20816-2641.

* ONE TRIP, MANY CHOICES: The Capital Hiking Club, now trekking in its 65th year, will head to Harpers Ferry, W. Va. on Sunday, Oct. 27. From there the choice is yours, as there will be several hikes of varying intensity and length from which to choose. In the morning there will be a four-miler over Loudoun Heights as well as a more meditative (and flatter) 1.3-miler around Virginius Island. In the afternoon you can decide on a 3.5- or 5.5-mile hike. The trip, which starts with a bus ride that has four pickup sites in the District and Maryland, is open to nonmembers. Call Mark Tune at 703-713-3934 or Vicki Bishton at 301-320-9542 for more information.

* BIG FISH, SMALL PRICE: Do you have grand dreams of fishing in Alaska but not much more than a grand in your bank account? Surprisingly, you can combine the two -- if you follow the advice John Blair will offer at his talk at the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited's meeting on Nov. 7 at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Blair has put together a slide show that will show how to spend a week fishing in the 49th state -- with airfare, lodging, car rental, food and fishing license -- for $1,500. Blair, who runs Virginia's oldest fly-fishing school, also will clue you in on a place to fish five rivers within 30 miles of where you stay. The presentation, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is preceded by a fly-tying demonstration at 6:45 p.m. The public is invited. For more information, visit the Web site www.nvatu.org

-- John Mullen

mullenj@washpost.com