Saturday we got on our bus which stopped at the hotel at 4:15 am, and two hours later we were in Rena. We hopped another bus for a short ride to the start. Plowed fields held the stacks of big busses and cars and porta johns.
It was a little worrisome, what with the warm weather and rain leading up to the Michigan Cup Relays, but the Cross Country Ski Headquarters spread man-made snow where they could and farmed snow elsewhere to successfully keep the course covered.
The Muffin Race was incorrectly listed in the NordicSkiRacer event calendar for Saturday and is actually taking place this Sunday, March 19th. If you are going the race, make sure you show up on the correct day!
Two former U.P. college skiers took the victories in the 50km skiathlon: former Michigan Tech standout Deedra Irwin of Pulaski, Wisconsin, and Northern Michigan alumnus Kyle Bratrud of Marquette, Michigan. Bratrud eked out the win by just 1.4 seconds
UPDATED. Sunday's 11km Black Mountain Freestyle Race did not have the weather or groomer issues like the classic race the day before but a few rogue snowmobile incursions onto the trail had to be smoothed out, delaying the start by 5 minutes.
UPDATED. The largest snow fall of the season, the coldest night of the season, not enough ice on the lake start/finish area, frozen gas lines on one of the groomers on race day, but the end result was spectacular!