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Lots of snow for White Pine Stampede

Mon, Jan  24, 2011 - By Jack McKaig

The snow is here, still coming, and no talk of a thaw in the next two weeks. The bibs are ordered. The tee shirts have arrived. The volunteers are gathering and preparing. The trail is in very good shape. We have received several feet of snow but it has been all lake effect. Fortunately both the private and resort sections of the trail have been rolled and groomed regularly. We are ready to go!

I have been following, with interest, the discussions of growing our sport. I am particularly intrigued by the ideas regarding putting fun in events such as ours. Year after year when talking with "I have never skied before" or "I am just learning" skiers there is trepidation apparent regarding what is fashioned as a race. Once convinced to give it a go excitement and enjoyment abound. Perfect example: Two young women, PhD. Candidates at the University of Michigan, accompanied a regular volunteer to the race and entered the ten KM event, never having been on skis before. Later that evening, at the volunteer party, proudly wearing their medals and tee shirts, they described, to me, their experiences on the trail, the fun they had meeting other skiers and enjoying a glass of beer, from Short’s Brewery, while enjoying the post race camaraderie.

Once again, we will be registering and checking in entrants in the Summit Center at Shanty Creek on Friday afternoon and evening. Saturday morning we will be doing the same at Mancelona High School from two hours before your scheduled race which will start directly behind the school. DO NOT FORGET to leave your clothing bags in the designated location on the way to the start.

Following your race be sure to join us in the Bellaire Room in the Summit Center at Shanty Creek for a bit of beer donated by Short’s Brewery, ($1.25 a glass, $4.00 per pitcher), a slide presentation of the day’s events and, finally, the presentation of awards. The doors open at 1:00 PM. A cash bar will be available.

For those entrants, and their guests interested, you are welcome to join the committee and volunteers at our annual party, also held at Shanty Creek. The cost is $20.00 per person for a sandwich and salad bar, dancing from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, a cash bar and more Short’s beer ($.50 glass/$2.00 pitcher).

Once again, it is our honor to donate to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation five dollars for each entry together with the donations from those that wish to give a bit more. As of White Pine Stampede XXXIV we have donated $87,862.78 over the years. The Race Committee and Children’s Hospital thank everyone.

Every anniversary or birthday that ends in a 0 or 5 seems to be more exciting than all other years. That premise holds true this year as we celebrate 35 years of a dream come true. Please join us for some great skiing and great fun. Please join us and bring your friends, (remember the Bring A Friend Discount), whether they be competitors, novices or have never skied. I am anxious to meet everyone.

Have a good race.

Jack