The Michigan Cup Committee has made a few changes in the race lineup for 2007-2008.
Michigan Cup Marathon Moves to February
First, Hanson Hills requested that the Michigan Cup Marathon / Hanson Hills Classic in Grayling switch weekends with the Hiawatha Invitational location in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Moving the Grayling races to the weekend of February 16-17 would increase the chances of having better snow. Because Hiawatha typically gets good early season snow, moving the Ontario events to January might actually increase the number of races we get to run in January. (Boo Global Warming....)
Unfortunately, Hiawatha could not hold the races on the weekend of January 12-13 this year because staff will be working an already scheduled event. The Michigan Cup Committee determined it was in the best interests of the Cup to move the Hanson Hills races anyway, even if it meant not having Hiawatha on the calendar this year. The committee hopes to include Hiawatha in the 2008-2009 calendar.
Michigan Cup Team Training 3x5K Time Trial
That opened a weekend in January. In a move to increase early season participation, the Committee "volunteered" Hanson Hills to hold the "Michigan Cup Team Training 3x5K Time Trial" on January 12. The distance is kept short to entice club members who are a little nervous doing their first race, and in a team format to to get teams motivated to get their skiers out!
This event is not a relay race. Instead, Michigan Cup teams pull together groups of three skiers who each do a 5 K freestyle time trial. Each group member's time is summed together at the end of the time trial, and time trial groups will be ranked by within division for Michigan Cup Team Points. No individual Michigan Cup points will be awarded.
There are three divisions: Men, Women, and Coed. The winning team in each division will be awarded 200 points. Scoring for subsequent places will take place by the following formula: The number of teams in that division will be divided into 200 giving the number of points that each subsequent place will receive. For example: a division with two teams will be scored (200/2 = 100), 1st = 200, 2nd = 100. A division with 20 teams will be scored (200/20 = 10), 1st = 200, 2nd = 190, 20th = 10. (Where fractions occur the number will be to rounded up if the decimal is 0.50 or higher and down is the decimal is below 0.50.)
To keep it simple, no age divisions are included for points; divisions are determined exclusively by gender.
We are still waiting to see if Hanson Hills can hold the event. If not, we will find an alternative location.
Birkie Weekend Conflicts
If last winter is any indication of the future, there may be more skiers racing in Michigan than Wisconsin! But just in case the Birkie gets the snow it's due, the Michigan Cup Committee decided to lower the total number of points available for any postponed race that gets rescheduled to Birkie weekend, February 23-24: The top finisher will only get 190 points instead of 200.
More Points for Short Marathon Races
The half-marathon events at the Vasa and White Pine Stampede have been very competitive in the last few years. To recognize the increased participation in the short event, the Michigan Cup Committee has increased the point values for the half-marathon events from 150 to 175 points. This will also increase the number of places awarded points.
The short Noquenamon events are not included in this new point scheme, only the Vasa and White Pine Stampede.
See the full Michigan Cup cross country ski racing series calendar here.