Sault Ste. Marie, MI – There’s less than a month until a popular snowmobile race returns to Chippewa County. Event organizers were not able to hold the race last year due to the COVID 19 pandemic. But, the race has evolved in several ways over the last five decades, I-500 organizer and spokesman Ric Federau said.

“Six guys sat in a restaurant looking out the window I saw the 1968 Z-28 Camaro with orange stripes on a white body. And it was the official pace car for the Indy 500. And, looking at this thing, one of them said do you guys think we can go 500 miles on a snowmobile,” Federau said. “And that’s how it started.”

They use nearly 2 million gallons of water to create the only one mile ice track in North America. It’s now a one week event with professional writers. The race draws up to 13,000 spectators from around the country for the week. It runs from January 31 to February 5 this year,  Federau said the I-500 is a unique community event for a number of reasons.

“The  I-500 is Michigan’s premier winter sporting event.” Federau said. “We have a lot going for us in the professional rankings. We are the oldest, the longest, the fastest, (and) the toughest snowmobile endurance race in the world with participants that come from Alaska, Canada, out east, out west – as far as California. at,times…. (and), especially through the Midwest, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin,.  We’ve developed over the years through volunteerism, We’ve developed a premier sporting event unlike anything else in the world, because the SU 500 is totally operated by volunteers.”

He said race organizer are always looking for people to volunteer. For more information on the race, and events happening on race week go to