The inaugural running of the Red Earth Classic seems to have been successful.
Despite relatively brisk temperatures and overcast skies, the 18-mile mountain bike competition started in downtown Ishpeming Saturday.
Between the short and long all-ages courses and the two-and-a-half-mile kids race, more than 100 riders signed up to hit the trails, The Mining Journal reported on the front page Sunday in a story authored by Journal Staff Writer Zach Jay.
That was, perhaps, a few less than race co-director Matt Palomaki had hoped for. But organizers chalked the day up to experience and building for the future.
"(We've had a) great response honestly," Palomaki said. "I think that the local business owners really stepped up to help us out this year and made it happen. The fact that we didn't have the turnout in racer numbers was offset by the fact that the community supported us, and they really made it happen."
And that's a point we'd like to echo, too. It's our belief that this race, as it matures and grows each year, will serve as a catalyst to bring increasingly large numbers of people into the west end of Marquette County, in general, and the city of Ishpeming, in particular.
We congratulate the organizers and participants on a job well done.