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White Pine: New groomer, online registration, and a party!

White Pine Stampede

Mon, Jan  12, 2009 - By Jack McKaig

It is easy to become complacent.  It is easy to continue what is working well.  Sometimes, however, circumstances dictate change.  There is an abundance of change at the 2009 White Pine Stampede.

For the past three years there has been little snow with which to groom and set a trail, which is no secret, certainly not to the race committee.  Couple that problem with the continued development of housing, oil and gas wells, golf courses and whatever else and our “point to point” concept took a beating.  Long hours and not a little emotion were spent attempting to make what we could with the resources we had over the past three years.  To some we were successful, to others we were a failure.  While I know the 362 entrants in our 10Km event, last year, had great fun, it was not what the Race Committee could call a success.

So what to do?  Extensive discussions were initiated with Shanty Creek Resorts in an effort to bring this event back to the prominence it once held in the eyes of you, the participant.

New Groomer

First, we needed a trail with the best chance of holding up in the event of our fourth consecutive January thaw.  We needed a smaller, lighter groomer.  The solution;  the WPS purchased a Tidd Tech G2 groomer, (a debt still on my credit card, by the way), with Shanty purchasing the requisite snow machine.  The smaller groomer will work in concert with the existing groomer.  Shanty Creek also agreed to expand their current trails in the event their use becomes necessary on race day.  The race committee agreed to provide volunteers to assist in regular and consistent grooming of the resort trails.  This has been accomplished.

White Pine Stampede

Online registration

Second, we stepped into the new century with our new ONLINE REGISTRATION.  Better late then never.

No loop 40KM

We reduced the long event to 40KM.  We once again wanted the “point to point” flavor to our race.  No loops, no confusion.  For the reasons stated above, the amount of property needed, and the refusal of some private owners to allow our one time excursion on their property, created major difficulties for Bill Fleet our Chief of Course.  More importantly, however, it was felt that a mid range length would enhance the experience of those tiring of 20KM, but not ready for a full 50KM, still a challenge but not a killer.

New Friday Night Registration

Shanty Creek further assisted in providing the lobby of their newly renovated Lodge for Friday night Registration and Bag Pickup.  Your bags will be available, or you may register from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM that evening.  The resort is making available to participants, and their guests, a pasta dinner special in the restaurant adjacent to registration.  Registration and bag pickup will remain at the Mancelona High School on Saturday morning.

Rise and shine later

Saturday we are starting a little later in the morning.

Racers invited to Volunteer Party

For the first time we are inviting the race participants and, their guests, to our Volunteer Party.  It is the perfect opportunity for volunteers and participants to mingle while we celebrate our 33rd anniversary together.  We will be featuring a soup, salad and sandwich buffet as well as beer for $1.00 per pitcher, an open bar and music provided by DJ Jason Smigell, the voice of the 20KM finish.  The cost will be $20.00 per person.

I have suggested, to the Race Committee, that this year is similar to 1977, our inaugural year.  The race was established to provide quality racing for those that wish to race and enjoyment for those who wish to have fun.  Somewhere the fun left us along with the snow.  But the excitement has returned, the energy level is high – we are starting anew.

Follow our website for details of the events I mentioned above.

You may reach me personally at  I enjoy your comments and appreciate all the help offered.

I look forward to meeting my old friends and meeting new friends during the first weekend of February and hearing your comments.