More than 120 cross country skiers compete in Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet at Hanson Hills Recreation Area on Saturday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Bright sun. Cold air. White snow. Frosty beards. Saturday’s Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet – Grayling Recreation Authority’s annual series of cross country ski races hosted by Hanson Hills Recreation Area – featured solid overall participation numbers despite the chilly weather.
The start of the race divisions – conducted between 10 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. – featured a temperature of approximately six degrees.
“Although temperatures were a bit cool, there were 127 participants for this year’s race,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for Grayling Recreation Authority.
Last year, Grayling Recreation Authority had to move the Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet to Forbush Corner because weather conditions – rain, lack of snow – ruined the cross country ski trail system at Hanson Hills Recreation Area.
“It was great being able to host this year’s event back at Hanson Hills,” Andre said.
Andre said the trail system at Hanson Hills was in good shape this year and the grooming crew did a great job of getting it prepared for the annual race series.
“Trails were amazing,” Andre said.
Last year, numbers were higher than expected but lower than usual due to the last-minute change in venue. In 2018, the Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet had close to 100 participants. The 2017 Cote Dame featured approximately 160 skiers. Close to 200 people competed in the 2016 race series.
The 2019 Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet featured the following divisions: Michigan Cup Men’s, Michigan Cup Women’s, Junior, Citizens Classic, and Citizens Skate. Results are available online at https://hansonhills.org/f/cote-dame-marie-results