MARQUETTE - Racing and area history will be combined June 7 when the inaugural Iron Range Roll takes place along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail from Ishpeming to Marquette.
The 40 Below Young Professionals of Marquette County is creating the event.
"40 Below had a vision to create a signature event that connected communities and people in Marquette County, promotes healthy living and raises money for a good cause," 40 Below board member Dave Nyberg said.
Bicyclists and runners will have a new event this year that will take them along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail from Ishpeming to Marquette, including the stretch shown above near Negaunee. The inaugural Iron Range Roll is planned for June 7 and will include bicycle and running divisions for individuals and teams. (Journal file photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Nyberg said the Iron Ore Heritage Trail is a tremendous asset for the race route, which will involve an elevation drop of about 1,000 feet.
"It's unique in that it provides a variable terrain, and it's a fun downhill route," he said.
The Iron Range Roll will be a 16-mile race beginning at the Cliffs Shaft Museum and running through various trailheads, with the finish at the Marquette Commons. There will be three waves of starts for bicyclists, relay teams (consisting of four participants) and individual runners.
Because relay teams will use the Michigan Iron Industry Museum trailhead as a relay point, their race distance will be 17 miles.
Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at the museum, following by the start for bicyclists at 11 a.m., the first relay leg at 11:05 a.m. and the runners' start at 11:10 a.m. An awards celebration will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Ore Dock Brewing Co.
The entry fee is $25 per individual and $100 per running/cycling team, with fees going up in increments of $5 prior to race day. The fees increase to $30 per individual or $120 per relay if they register from May 1-31 and to $35 and $140, respectively, if they register from June 1 to race day.
A total of 75 percent of the proceeds will benefit the YMCA of Marquette County's "Reach & Rise" youth-mentoring program and 25 percent will go to 40 Below's Community Fund.
The Marquette City Commission learned about the new event at its Monday meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Fred Stonehouse said the event will draw attention to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, which represents "part of why we became what we became" and adds a historical context to the recreational event.
"I think you guys have a really good event here," Commissioner Dave Campana said. "I think you're going to be surprised how large it grows."
People can register at www.IronRangeRoll.com.