Just in time after a fresh blanket of snow, a unique cross-country racing event is being held this weekend on the Mercer Mecca Trails and the Manitowish Waters WinMan Trails.
Called the Turtle River Pursuit,. it offers a two-day competition in its inaugural year.
The first leg is an 11k classic race at MECCA ski club in Mercer on Saturday and the second leg is an 11k freestyle race at WinMan trails in Manitowish Waters on Sunday. Based on Saturday’s race times the fastest racer will kick off the race on Sunday, which race spokesperson Mike Shouldice says its a unique competiton..
"It's a combined time event. The Saturday race at Mecca is a classic striding event, and the Sunday event at WinMan is a free-style event so skiers can race either skate-ski or stride..."
But the second day at Manitowish Waters brings in the pursuit portion of the race...
"But on Sunday, your launch times depend on your finish times on Saturday. If you were to beat me by one minute on Saturday, you'd get a minute head start on me on Sunday. That way if I caught up to you and passed you, I beat you...."
Mecca President Shouldice says they're hoping for 100 racers in the inaugural race.
The start and finish lines are at the chalets at both the Mecca Trails and WinMan where spectators can watch.
Shouldice says the trail bosses at each spot came up with the idea for the pursuit race. Shouldice says the trails have a great base with fresh snow on top and the course has been groomed. Gogebic Range Health Foundation is a sponsor.
The website turtleriverpursuit. com has more information as will the Chambers of Commerce in Manitowish Waters and Mercer.