MANCELONA — Much like the Iceman did last weekend, another northern Michigan outdoor race is set to return.
The White Pine Stampede Board announced Tuesday that the annual cross-country ski race will return to an in-person format in 2022. The event website already has a clock counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Feb. 5, 2022.
The board moved the 45th rendition of the race to a virtual format last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of racers competed, keeping the event alive for the coming year.
The 46th Stampede will feature a full slate of races, including the 50K, 20K and 10K classic and freestyle Nordic races. Those participating in the virtual race last year were able to submit their results online over a 12-day span from anywhere in the world.
Skiiers will have to be in Mancelona come February when the event begins at Mancelona High School and ends at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire.
“We’ve noticed a resurgence of cross-country skiing since the beginning of the pandemic,” White Pine Stampede Race Director Ben Tarbutton said. “After being cooped up for so long, so many just wanted to get out and experience the great outdoors in new ways. We’re excited to see what this new race year will bring.”
The White Pine Stampede began in 1975 and is the longest-running point-to-point Nordic ski race in Michigan. Proceeds from the race benefit the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Mancelona High School’s Jack McKaig Social Justice Scholarship.
Online registration is now available at whitepinestampede.org.