Weekend of Noque races are a welcomed winter event

It’s a weekend winter enthusiasts absolutely love and local businesses must savor.

It’s Noque weekend.

The 21st running of the Noquemanon Ski Marathon is set for this weekend. The main events are point-to-point cross-country ski races, but there are events for snowshoers and skijorers as well.

The fun begins with Friday’s Junior Noque, which starts at the Noquemanon Trail Network’s Forestville Trailhead and features races for ages 1 to 19.

The busiest day is Saturday, with events to include the 50K Freestyle and 50K Classic races, which begin at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming and end in the “Log Yard” located along Marquette County Road 550 about 3 miles west of Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome.

Those who aren’t participating are certainly welcome to witness the awards ceremony for the Noquemanon, Half Noque, 15-mile snowshoe, 12K ski and adaptive events which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Superior Dome.

Sunday focuses on the “Wild Side of the Noque,” which involves a 20K snow bike race, Animoosh Skijor, and 5K and 10K snowshoe races, which start and end at the Forestville Trailhead.

Hundreds of avid winter sports people from around the country will be in Marquette to take part in the festivities, bringing a boost to the area’s winter tourism.

In a Wednesday front page story, Travel Marquette Director Susan Estler told Mining Journal Staff Writer Christie Bleck that just looking around the community, being in restaurants and shopping, an increase in the number of people can be seen.

“Certainly all events during this time of year are important to keep the community busy and make it a viable year-round destination,” Estler said.

The Noquemanon Ski Marathon is an event of the Noquemanon Trail Network, a nonprofit organization that develops and maintains an interconnected non-motorized trail network in the region. For more race information, visit noquemanon.com.

Welcome to all our out-of-town guests and good luck to all participants. It’s forecast to be an extremely cold weather snap, but hearts will be warmed by the excitement of Noque weekend.