MECCA Trails – 2024 Winterfest Registration is now live!
With the warm temperatures we’ve been having, it’s hard to imagine that in less than five months we’ll be enjoying our favorite winter activities. MECCA Trails has been preparing for the winter season and would like to officially announce the return of Winterfest, which includes both live and virtual ski races plus snowshoeing.
The live race will be held on January 20, 2024, a week earlier in the ski season than last year to minimize conflicts with other races. Live events will include the Claire d’Loon 5K, the Flowage 15K and the MECCA 30K, for both classic and skate disciplines. Race day has a very festive atmosphere: it’s competitive and yet skier friendly even for the novice, as evidenced by the high number of youth participants and their enthusiasm to ski.
The MECCA 30K race was new last year and quickly became the most popular event. It is an excellent training event for many to assess fitness and prepare for longer marathon events later in the season. Athletes were well supported with five water/food stations as they traversed the most scenic and pristine trails in the Northwoods. Racers described it as “the best run small race in the Midwest.”
If you are unable to make it to MECCA for the live event, no problem! Winterfest is also featuring “virtual” opportunities. Starting on December 16, 2023, and continuing through February 18, 2024, skiers may compete virtually in the Claire d’Loon 5K, the Flowage 15K, or the MECCA 30K using classic and/or skate techniques. Racing has to be done on the MECCA trails, but participants may race as many times as they would like and report their fastest time.
Another unique and challenging feature of the Winterfest virtual races is the opportunity to compete in the Turtle River Pursuit. This is a race that combines 11K of classic skiing and 11K of skate skiing for an overall finish time. This may be done individually or as a team.
Winterfest strives to provide opportunities for all to be able to participate, so for those that don’t want to ski there is also snowshoeing available. The snowshoeing is done recreationally on the beautiful MECCA Trails or, if you’d like an extra challenge, consider trying to see how fast you could complete the Mercer Springs Snowshoe trail, submit a time, and become eligible for prizes.
All participants will receive a stylish short-sleeved wick-away T-shirt and swag bag filled with goodies to commemorate the event. Winners of all competitive events by gender and age divisions will be awarded a classy neck warmer.
Winterfest has become a winter celebration that showcases the beauty of the MECCA trails and engages the community in a fun winter activity. This event is presented in collaboration with the Gogebic Range Health Foundation:
The Foundation and other sponsors, and their support, allow Winterfest to offer a special reduced rate of $15.00 for all youth participants. Monies raised will be used to promote and enhance the trails, equipment, and facilities. Currently, MECCA is undertaking a project to build a new heated storage facility. Your support is sincerely appreciated.
Registration for Winterfest is now open! For more information or to register, visit:
See you on the trails, Rodney Silvis, 2024 Race director