Michaywe’ resort in Gaylord, MI. will be the venue for the inaugural WinterSonnenwende Nordic race. The event is slated for the 3rd Saturday in December, December 17, 2011. Race Director is long time resident Chris Dandeneau; triathlete, endurance swimmer and lifelong Skier.
The event will feature men’s & women’s 17 km classic & Skate events, as well as a 7.5 km Junior Race. A 2 km kids Lake loop is also slated.
The 7.5km course is designed for Junior racers - a one loop course with 64 meters climbing. The 17km course for men and women will offer a lollipop style course which takes skiers out on the same course as the juniors only they will do two 4.85 km loops before returning to the finish area - a total of 177 meters of climbing with some screaming downhill’s. This is a technical course, narrow in spots, but will offer sections of wide areas to really get the lead out and make some moves.
The course will accommodate a wide 1km start loop on the Golf Course - to spread out the pack before skiers head into the trail system. There are also several sections that allow for passing and hill climbs to mix up placement a bit. This race will host Classic and Freestyle with staggered start times.
“I wanted to coordinate the timing & theme of the event to the Winter Solstice and Swiss/ Bavarian theme of Gaylord’s alpine village. “We are notorious for our consistent snow and early season conditions; there are very few years I have not used rock skis at Michaywe' in mid December, which makes it ideal for an early season race!” Nordican's are itching to ski in mid December and we have the ideal venue for it.
Michaywe' GM Todd Chwatun is committed to this event and has been gracious to allow us use of the conference center and clubhouse areas which are literally a few feet from the groomed trail system. It boasts plenty of parking, a kitchen & restaurant, and a top level - which overlooks the start/ finish areas making it ideal for family members to view from inside. This will also serve as registration, warming & prepping for skiers before the race, and awards ceremony afterward. ‘Trail Meister’ Jim Ollie has been just great with providing his commitment in making this happen. Jim has been grooming these trails for years and is intimate with every bit of the entire 18.5km trail system. He is committed to provide any necessary grooming changes and adjustments to provide quality skate lanes and track sets.”
I am currently working with the Michigan Cup board to allow for the potential to make this a Michigan Cup event. I have a small but dedicated staff on board and looking to provide a really unique and quality event from registration - to awards!