Adam Haberkorn and Mike Muha couldn’t be happier. Friday’s snow is just what they’d hoped for one week ahead of the ski race they’ve been planning, the only one of its kind in southern Michigan.
Haberkorn and his staff are preparing Huron Meadows Metropark to host the REI Frosty 5/15K Freestyle Cross-Country Ski Race, the only race in the Michigan Cup Race Series south of Higgins Lake, putting this race on par with races in Harbor Springs, Cheboygan and Traverse City this winter.
“We’ve been working on grooming and packing the snow to establish a nice base for the race,” says Haberkorn, who heads up the grooming staff at Huron Meadows Metropark. “We’ve also lined the course with pine boughs to help define the trail in open areas.”
The Frosty race course: open area into the woods
“I’m a long-time ski racer, and wanted to give something back to the sport, close to home,” says Muha, race director, who lives in Wixom and skis regularly at the park. “I also wanted to support the great efforts Huron Meadows has made in providing the best cross-country ski trails in Southeast Michigan.”
The 15K course, on moderate terrain, starts at the ski center, circles the park’s golf course, traverses an open field and woods, and then circles Maltby Lake before heading back to the ski center. The 5K course, on easy terrain, includes wooded and open areas.
The REI 15K Freestyle Cross-Country Ski Race, along with the 5K Juniors and Beginners Race will be held on Saturday, January 16 at 10:30 a.m. The race, one of 22 Michigan Cup Races held in Michigan, is endorsed by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. Ski teams from across the state are expected to compete in the race. Although most skiers will ski skate-style, both skate and classic (traditional) ski techniques are allowed.
The course is groomed at least 14 ft wide, with skate zone and classic tracks
The race is open to anyone, from experienced racers to skiers who want to try their first race. Register in advance for $25, or $30 at the race. A $5 daily, or $25 annual Metropark vehicle entry permit is required to enter the park. The registration fee includes lunch served at the ski center, a T-shirt and other goodies. In case of poor ski conditions, the race will be rescheduled for Sunday, January 31. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the Huron-Clinton Metroparks for cross-country skiing-related expenses. For more information, or to register, go to http://www.nordicskiracer.com/frosty or call 248-535-9351. Huron Meadows Metropark is located at 8765 Hammel Road, Brighton MI 48116, (810-231-4084 or 734 426-8211).
Located along the Huron and Clinton rivers, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks provide a natural oasis from urban and suburban life as well as year-round recreational activities and events. A regional park system, the Metroparks consist of 13 beautiful parks covering 24,000 acres, ten spectacular public golf courses and two marinas on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, respectively. The parks also offer scenic nature trails, breathtaking beaches, educational activities and exciting winter sports. General information can be found at www.metroparks.com or by calling 1-800-47-PARKS.