ACME — Some travelers may know the trails at Timber Ridge as just ski trails. Kaitlyn Patterson sees them as what used to be her bike trails, but she’s just as successful when there’s snow on the ground.
Patterson repeated as champion of the women’s 50K freestyle marathon for her fourth Vasa win with a time of 2:49:02. Megan Madion, 54, of Traverse City, raced for time of 3:04:36 to finish in second. Mary Schlimmer, 28, of Grayling took third with a time of 3:20:48.
“Usually the Vasa is in the other direction, so it’s kind of fun to ski in this direction because this is the direction of Iceman and it’s giving me a lot of flashbacks,” Patterson said.
Patterson said her first lap went a little slow. She had a good group to ski with and by the second lap, the snow started to become good to ski in.
Patterson, an Ann Arbor resident, considers mountain biking her primary sport, with the Iceman Cometh her staple race. She skis when she can in the winter and uses running, biking and roller skating to help her train.
Last year Patterson returned to the race after medical school held her up and now she’s in her final year at the University of Michigan. The Cadillac native moved to Traverse City and keeps returning to see and spend time with family.
“The ski and bike community is just great up here,” Patterson said. “My family comes up, I get to see them and it’s just very nostalgic to ski on trails that I’ve done growing up.”