Organizers change venue for 2018 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet
Due to poor trail conditions at Hanson Hills, Grayling Recreation Authority (GRA) had to make changes to this year’s Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet – an annual series of cross country ski races for people of all ages and skill levels – including a cancellation of some races and a change of venue for the others.
Organizers canceled the citizen races, the classic races, and the junior division racesOrganizers change venue for 2018 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet
for this year’s Cote Dame. The Michigan Cup men’s and women’s races will be held at Forbush Corners instead of the usual location at Hanson Hills.
“Due to poor snow conditions, Hanson Hills Recreation Area will not be able to host the annual running of the Cote Dame Marie Loppet; however, our neighbors to the north at Forbush Corners are willing to serve as temporary course host for this year’s race. To keep the (Michigan Cup) schedule intact, we have decided to accept Forbush’s generous offer with a few modifications to our original race schedule,” event organizers said. “This year’s race will feature the Michigan Cup Men’s and Women’s Skate Divisions only.”
Justin Andre, Director of Operations for GRA, said recent weather conditions, including rain and lack of snow, left the cross country trail system at Hanson Hills unsuitable for the annual race series.
Andre said parts of the course were “unsafe” and some parts were bare grass, no snow.
“Our trail system is shot,” Andre said.
GRA hoped to get enough snow early this week in order to proceed with the Cote Dame as planned, but the amount forecasted did not materialize.
“We were hoping to pull a miracle off but it didn’t work,” Andre said.
The revised schedule for the 2018 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet is: registration, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Forbush Corners (4971 W. County Road 612, Frederic); 10 a.m. Michigan Cup Men (19.5 km); 10:03 a.m. Michigan Cup Women (13 km).
“We will be using the Time Trial loop at Forbush that includes sections of roller coaster and badlands equaling close to a 6.5 km loop,” event organizers said.
The Michigan Cup men will complete three laps and the women will complete two laps.
The Cote Dame will be timed using chip technology as in previous races.
The Cote Dame Kids Race at Northbound Outfitters, located at the corner of Old Lake Road and M-72 West, will proceed as planned. The Kids Race is slated for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20. There is no registration fee for the event and there will be awards for all participants, according to event organizers. All children 15 and under are welcome to compete. Registration is slated for 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Free rental skis will be available on a limited basis.
“Hopefully next year we’ll be back on our regular schedule,” Andre said.