The main race at the Noque is a classic marathon; there is also a skate race (and short races) that attracts a bigger field, but the classic race is the prestigious event.
Team NordicSkiRacer.com was well represented, with skiers in the main race and the skate and short classic races, and produced some good results in the tough conditions.
The classic race started first, and with a couple of inches of fresh snow in the tracks it was faster out of the tracks for the first 40 or so people. Ironically, many of the skaters found it faster to stay in the classic tracks, which were well skied in by the time they raced.
The fastest Michigan Cup racer was Team NordicSkiRacer's Joe Bettendorf, who jumped Strait Strider Denny Paull in a sprint finish. Joe lives in Marquette, which is almost cheating in a Michigan Cup context, though he has promised to move to Lansing next year. Next came Traverse City's Milan Baic, who passed Hugh Pritchard just before the finish, followed by Steve Kuhl, finishing strongly in his first classic marathon.
It was good to see plenty of familiar names among the prize winners, and especially good to see so many from our own team. Prizes at the Noque consist of cowbells. The following team members collected a bell – listen for them at the sprints next weekend:
Classic 20k race: