Cross-country skiing in Michigan offers tranquility and peace throughout its thousands of miles of snow trails. Distance yourself from the noisy crowds and enjoy the quiet beauty of a glistening white winter. Michigan cross-country skiing trails stretch over 3,000 miles and the hush of snow-covered scenery sets the stage for an invigorating wintertime adventure.
Invented in the Neolithic Age by hunters who found that strapping on skis crafted of bone or wood could help them pursue animals in the winter. Take your mind back into history and imagine following a herd of wooly mammoths on these early contraptions…coming back to reality, both days out on the trail had its share of excitement.
Today, the ancestors of those hunters roam the mountains and plains of Europe in the tens of thousands, participation in numbers, which inspired America’s own ski tradition. In Europe, national pride if often at stake in cross-country ski racing, and clubs exist in virtually every town that has a hint of snow. Sound familiar to here?
Fun Fact: In the village of Mora, the first racers to lead the 12,000 competitors across the finish line are welcomed by the sweet sound of traditional birch bark trumpets resounding from the bell tower and the cheers of supporters who come to witness the excitement of cross-country skiing. For more information on the history: http://www.vasa.org/history.html.
Over the centuries, cross-country skiing and competitions have become tradition in all parts of the globe.
This year, come celebrate the 38th Annual North American VASA on Saturday, February 8, 2014 and Sunday, February 9th at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort.
Festivities for Saturday the 8th include: 12km, 27km and 50km – Freestyle and Classic for adults 20-years-old and up. Young adults, ages 14-19 (only) can participate in the 6km Freestyle. Saturday will include a Junior VASA and a Fat Bike Race.
Festivities for Sunday the 9th include: Gran Travers’ and the 16km and 6km Classic.
On Friday, after the races, enjoy the VASA pasta dinner from 5-8pm at Timber Ridge. The dinner will benefit local youth ski programs. Dinner includes fresh pasta, a choice of sauces, bread, salad and beverages – “all you can eat carbo load” – $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
Packet Pick-Up will begin at noon on Friday, February 7th and run until 9:00 pm at the Timber Ridge Resort. Map of Timber Ridge: http://timberridgeresort.net/mapsdirections.php.
Late Registration/Packet Pick-Up:
Saturday: 7:00 am – 12:15 pm at the Timber Ridge Resort
Sunday: 7:00 am – 10:00 am at the Timber Ridge Resort
Online Registration: https://events.bytepro.net/vasa
Bay Area Recycle for Charities, or BARC, will be on site volunteering and making sure you recycle! All materials from the event, including the pasta dinner are 100% recyclable. BARC is a local, eco-friendly, not-for-profit organization. Serving the five counties that make up the Traverse Bay area, BARC focuses its efforts on converting recyclables into revenues to support itself and fund its expansion - giving donations to local charities.
Bay Area Recycling for Charities offers easy, convenient options for maximizing the effect of your recycling, beginning with drop-off sites and pick-up service. The profits from the resources collected will be contributed to local charities.
King VASA Fat bike Race — New Event!
For the first time ever, we will be sharing our beautifully groomed trails with the newest way to enjoy winter... Fat-biking. The King VASA Fat bike race will start on Saturday at 2:00 pm. It will be a 27km race and will start out from Timber Ridge on Riley's Loop continue to the Rock and return to Timber Ridge on the VASA 27km loop.
HELMETS REQUIRED. Bike lights are also recommended. There will be a mass start with one wave.
King VASA Ski Fatalon — for bragging rights as the top snow athletes in Michigan!
For the first time in the Midwest, we are staging a two-event competition to determine the athletes with the best combined time for a 27km ski race and the 27km Fat bike race. A special reduced entry fee will be offered for this unique event.
SkiFatalon: 27km ski race and the 27km Fat bike race. Top three male and female finishers.
King VASA Fat bike Race: Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in the following categories:
• Overall Winners will be crowned; "King and Queen VASA"
• The Royal Court — under 18
Awards will be given out at Timber Ridge at the conclusion of the race. (Approx. 4pm). Beer will be available.
*Due to ski race prep, no Fat bikes are allowed on the course except for the scheduled race.
*Helmets are required pre and post-race. All handlebars must have bar ends. No ear buds of any kind; both tires must be a minimum of 3.7 inches.
*There will be a mechanic from McLain Cycles available at the split rail fence (approx. 6km mark) and another mechanic provided by Einstein Cycles at the aid station at The Rock. We will also be doing warm water bottle hand ups to cyclists at the aid station. Thank you to Einstein and Hagerty Cycling for providing water bottles for all entrants.
Fees for the 2014 Junior Vasa races are $5.00 for kids from 2-13 years of age.
Registration for the races will be at Timber Ridge on Sat. Feb 8th from 10:00am - 12:15pm.
The 6km Freestyle race on Saturday and the 6km Classic race on Sunday are designated for all boys and girls including high school racers. These races are Junior Qualifiers for the J2 (14-15) Championships in New Hampshire. We will score all junior racers whether they have a CXC/USSA license or not, however, we encourage junior skiers to sign-up for USSA now rather than later if they plan on competing at Junior Nationals or the J2 Championships in New Hampshire.
As part of the Vasa weekend Festival of Races, there will be two special classic skiing races that will be part of the Michigan Cup series. The Sunday events will be offered by Hagerty Insurance. The Gran Travers will feature both 6k and 16k challenging loop courses that will capture the rich heritage of traditional cross-country skiing at its finest.
The trail will be carefully groomed and double-tracked to provide kick-and-gliders the opportunity to test their skills while enjoying the breath-taking beauty of the Vasa Pathway.
The Hagerty Insurance Gran Travers will be held on the same course as the North American Vasa. Men and women who ski the race can qualify for Michigan Cup points. It will be a great way to enjoy winter skiing and test your classical skills.
For more information, please visit: www.vasa.org.