Over 2,000 bicyclists have arrived in Marquette for the 14th Annual Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic.
Hundreds of people lined up at Lakeview Arena in Marquette to register for Saturday’s races. The mountain bike epic consists of races of different lengths for all skill levels of cyclists to participate in. Races start in Marquette and Negaunee, and the courses run throughout Marquette County.
Having a race this size brings a lot of people to Marquette and aids the local economy.
“We start in Negaunee and go to Ishpeming and end in Marquette, so we’re bringing 2,000 people to each of those towns, plus the people that come with them–the spectators,” Ore to Shore Director Scott Tuma said. “They’re in the hotels, buying gas, in the restaurants and bars…so we’ve estimated it’s been $25 to 30 million (dollars) over the last fourteen years (into the economy).”
After the adult races, there are kids races in the afternoon. Tuma said it is fun to get kids involved mountain biking at such a young age.
“The kids races are probably my favorite,” Tuma said. “Because the little guys get out there and they try real hard. The parents race in the morning, and the kids in the afternoon, grandpa and grandma come out and it’s just a lot of fun, because everybody cheering so much for them.”
“So, start them out young and get them interested. We have a lot of fun doing it. They get trophies, they come to the awards ceremony…in front of everybody they get their trophies. Little five-year-olds get on on the podium and it’s just a ton of fun. So we get them hooked early.”
All races end at Lakeview Area, complete with an awards ceremony. There are also spots along the race courses for spectators to cheer on the cyclists.
There is more information on the Ore to Shore’s website.