Annual cross country ski race at Hanson Hills, despite rain and warm temperatures, features more than 160 competitors

Despite rain and warm temperatures all week leading up to Saturday, and more rain forecasted for the day of the event, this year’s Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet – an annual series of cross country ski races conducted by the Grayling Recreation Authority at Hanson Hills Recreation Area – still had solid participation numbers with approximately 160 skiers, organizers said.
Two weeks before the 2017 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet, Hanson Hills reported great conditions on its cross country ski trails. Plenty of snow. Groomed. But last week, it rained. It was warm. Less than ideal weather for one of Grayling Recreation Authority’s biggest events of the year. Would the trails be ready for hundreds of skiers on Saturday?
“They held up pretty well actually,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for Grayling Recreation Authority.
Andre said Hanson Hills had to keep cross country skiers off of the trails during the week leading up to Saturday in order to keep them in good shape for the race series. After the skiers in all divisions started the Cote Dame on Saturday morning, Andre said this year’s group featured “about 160 racers,” a few less than in previous years but a good number when taking into consideration the weather and possibility of poor trail conditions. Andre said event organizers expected the overall numbers to “be down a little,” especially with rain in the weather forecast for Saturday.
The 2016 Cote Dame had approximately 190 skiers (including the kids race). In 2015, the event had more than 170 competitors. In 2014, the Cote Dame featured more than 200 competitors. In 2013, more than 140 people raced in the Cote Dame during a year that featured a shortened course due to weather and trail conditions. In 2012, more than 170 people competed in the event. In 2011 – a year that had extremely cold temperatures – approximately 150 people raced. In 2010 – the event’s first year – 140 people participated.
The 2017 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet, as in past years, featured a variety of divisions in order to offer options for cross country skiers of all ages and skill levels. Divisions included: Michigan Cup Men’s (26.4 km skate), Michigan Cup Women’s (13.3 km skate), High School/Juniors Boys and Girls (7.5 km), Citizen Men’s 7.5 km Freestyle, Citizen Women’s 7.5 km Freestyle, Citizen Men’s 7.5 km Classic, and Citizen Women’s 7.5 km Classic.
The 2017 Cote Dame also featured a kids race at Northbound Outfitters.
Click here for 2017 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet results:

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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