On Saturday, November 3, over 5,000 mountain bikers will ride the 30 miles from Kalkaska to Traverse City, no matter what the woods or weather throws at them.
It's become an absolutely mythical event. Now nearly three decades old, the Iceman Cometh Challenge has grown from a few dozen riders to the biggest one-day, point-to-point mountain bike race in North America. It's so big that it takes over three hours just to start over 50 waves of 150 riders each. When the first wave is finishing, there are still hundreds of riders back in Kalkaska who haven't even started yet!
That size has attracted World Champions, national champions, and some of the best riders in North America to come to Traverse City and give the afternoon's Pro race a try. It's a rare chance to see some of the best athletes on the planet right here on our home trails. The professionals are looking to pick up a $5,000 purse for the win, as well as one of the coolest, and shortest-lived, trophies in sports. That's because the winner receives a massive trophy made completely of ice!
Of course, the vast majority of Iceman racers are weekend warriors, hobbyists, and everyday people like us. They sign up with goals ranging from winning their age group to finishing in under two hours. In fact, most riders set out with the simple goal of finishing. A lot can happen in 30 miles of trails, and throw in the unpredictable and often brutal weather of early November, and completing the race is a proud accomplishment for anyone.
Having a goal like finishing the Iceman, or running the local 5km, is a great way to reinforce and motivate yourself in all your fitness goals. Want to improve posture, lose weight, eat better, and be more active? Pick an event like Iceman, give yourself plenty of time to prepare, and get started. Who knows, those 30 miles might start a whole new lease on life for you and your whole family!
To learn more about the race, as well as information on where to watch the start and finish, head here.
From everyone at Core Health & Wellness, we want to wish everyone the very best of luck at Iceman this year. For the world champions to the first timers, have a fun, safe, and mechanical-free day with friends. Ride one!