Winterfest Virtual Events on Now; Live Events on February 5
Beth Wetzler, Winterfest Volunteer
Mercer, WI–The hemlocks are calling. Well, not really the hemlocks, but the chickadees and pine siskins and goldfinches that shelter underneath dark green boughs. As you begin your ski in the hemlock grove that towers over the start line at MECCA trails, stop and listen. The sweet sounds of these and other avian residents is warming as you embark on your ski.
Although the live Winterfest races aren’t until February 5th, four virtual events are going on now, including the Turtle River Pursuit, Flowage 15K Freestyle, Claire d’ Loon 5K and the Mercer Springs Snowshoe Tour. If you have previously participated in live ski races but find the early morning start times or the crowds off-putting, or if you’ve never raced but always wondered how you’d do, one or all of the Winterfest virtual races is for you. Simply register (at meccatrails.com) then show up at MECCA trailhead anytime, start your timer and follow the trail signs. You’ll finish where you started, at the trailside cabin. Then you can record your time online whenever it’s convenient for you. And guess what…you can ski the course as many times as you want, recording your best time, until the event closes on February 18th.
Everyone who registers gets a cool, blue long sleeve shirt with the Winterfest logo emblazoned on it. Skiers with the fastest times receive a matching beanie stocking type hat. Awards and swag are also given to those participating in the live races on February 5th. The first 100 registrants for either virtual or live events will receive a lift ticket compliments of Big Snow Resort good for a day of skiing at Indianhead or Blackjack ski areas. Check it all out on the MECCA website at meccatrails.com.
Winterfest is presented by MECCA Ski Club in collaboration with the Gogebic Range Health Foundation as a fundraising event. Proceeds from the event are used to enhance and expand the trails, facilities and equipment. MECCA also funds the MECCA Experience, a community outreach program for students, families and seniors.