The weather map was not optimistic, showing green and yellow raining all over Michigan. Those of us who drove up from southern Michigan or from the north or west ran into bouts of heavy rain. But as we turned off the highway to the Cross Country Ski Headquarters, the rain magically stopped. Maybe the Michigan Cup Relays would be dry after all. Even if it did rain, there was too much at stake: the Vasa Ski Club and the Cross Country Ski Headquarters were duking it out for first place for the overall Michigan Cup Championship title, and Team NordicSkiRacer was going to make sure it held onto third place.
Getting ready for the start (photos by Mike Muha)
Even though Vasa brought 10 relays teams to the games, the home court team responded with 20 and overwhelmed all comers. Team NordicSkiRacer accomplished what they came to do.
The race was around a single 7.5km loop what started up Rolling Hills (the hilly section of the course) before hitting other less hilly trails. The first leg was classic; the remaining two legs were freestyle. Teams were divided by gender (Male, Female, and Coed) and by the sum of the ages on the teams (164 and younger vs. 165 and older). It was klister conditions for the classic leg, although zero skis might have worked as well.
The course had excellent snow, ranging from wet fluff to slightly icy to a short section of wet and slightly sloppy. Plenty of snow covered the ground and, if you were smart, you brought you A-skis to the race. (Alas, a few people assumed warm meant ground showing through, not remembering that packed snow freezes from underneath and last longer than unpacked snow. They brought their B-skis...).
Except for an occasional sprinkle, the rain held off until the last 10 minutes of the race. The third leg of the slower teams paid the price by getting cold and wet.
The best part the the Relays is AFTER the relays: the annual end-of-the season Michigan Cup awards, banquet and drinking fest, powered with pulled pork sandwiches and lots of BOYB beer. Hosts Bob and Mariah Frye put up tarps to protect the picnic tables on the deck of the lodge and everyone stayed dry as it alternately sprinkled, rained, and cleared up during the lunch and awards.
Results are below: Comment on who was on what team! And who had the best team name?
|Overall||Team Name||Club Name|
|Coed 164 & below|
|181||1:37.14||4||28||Sinkin In the Rain||NSR|
|Coed 165 & above|
|117||1:11.04||1||3||Seager and the 2 Silver Bullets||CCSS|
|151||1:15.21||2||6||Slippery When Wet||VASA|
|173||1:16.49||3||7||Skiing In The Rain||XCSHQ|
|166||1:47.38||7||33||HQ Swim Team||XCSHQ|
|169||2:02.04||8||40||The Captain’s Team||XCSHQ|
|F 164 & below|
|157||1:27.20||1||18||Sister Chicks and Mom||VASA|
|129||1:34.57||3||26||Drowning in Pink||CCSS|
|103||2:16.17||5||46||The Hot Cocoas||XCSHQ|
|F 165 & above|
|118||1:53.35||1||35||3 Peas in a Pod||VASA|
|136||2:15.02||2||44||Better Late than Never||XCSHQ|
|170||2:18.59||3||47||Start Slow Taper Down||XCSHQ|
|M 164 & below|
|165||1:19.26||4||9||Mud Stuffin Paddle Heads||CCSS|
|147||1:55.27||12||38||The Goofy Goobers||XCSH|
|176||2:04.01||13||43||Team Cannon Brewery||Indep|
|M 165 & above|
|174||1:11.53||1||4||Great Bear Bottoms||GRNST|
|137||1:23.23||2||13||Wood is Good||VASA|
|108||1:25.04||4||16||The Snow Surfers||NSR|
|100||1:28.05||5||20||VASA Old Guys||VASA|
|160||1:47.35||8||31||You Figure It Out||XCSHQ|
|168||2:02.18||9||42||Faster Than Dirt||NSR|
|105||2:43.04||10||49||The 3 Lefties||XCSHQ|