The 15thannual Marquette General Health System Noquemanon Ski Marathon is set for this weekend…and, the race course was in need of snow just days ago. Getting snow on the ground means some relief to organizers and sent groomers into gear over the weekend. Volunteer grooming crews moved snow Monday night, covering thin spots the last 4k of the course. Race Director Jon Mommaerts says the after the recent snowfall, 6 to 24 inches in some spots, the course looks good from Ishepming to Marquette.
“We have coverage the whole way. We just want to make it thicker in some areas. It will all be ready come race day,” he said.
And that’s good news for racers looking to ski a marathon in 2013.
“This is the first Marathon in the Midwest that’s been able to happen this year”, said Mommaerts.
Known for drawing racers from across the nation, the race is on track to beat 2012’s 1,500 registered racers. On Monday, registration hovered around 1,300, up from 1,200 on Sunday.
With increased participation in all the weekend’s events, including the recent additions of the “Wild Side of the Noque” including the Animoosh Skijor Race and the World Championship Snowbike, volunteers and spectators have never been so important to encourage, refresh and direct the racers to the finish line at the Superior Dome on the campus of Northern Michigan University.
Last year’s 50k Classic winner, Santiago Ocariz is returning to the Noquemanon to defend his 2012 title. Skiing for XC Oregon, Ocariz spent the summer of 2012 roller skiing 3,000 miles across North America with his wife Carolyn, in an effort to raise money for starving children through “Food for the Poor”. Find more about their journey at www.skiacrossamerica.com.