Founders Alger Racing cleans up at Iceman!

The 2012 Iceman wasn’t nearly as cold as in year’s past, but lake effect snow started falling through the night, so we awoke to our first glimpse of winter on our way to the starting line. Kalkaska was dry, but somewhere in the middle of the race, the snow started falling. This was the heavy, wet stuff. The ground was covered already from the night before and since it wasn’t quite freezing, the heavy clumps of snow kept falling from the trees as well. Some new single track was introduced to the race course this year, which helped it feel a little more like a mountain bike race (wink, wink). The conditions made these sections VERY greasy, so chains and derailleurs picked up some mud paste and glasses got some spattering too. In the last 10K, the conditions got even worse. Anita’s Hill was a special challenge as always, and if you’re anywhere near cramping by then, legs are screaming after. It doesn’t get much better after that… This is where the steepest and most technical single track on the course begins. More new, greasy, single track before you hear the faint sound of cheering fans and the singular unintelligable finish line announcer’s voice over the loudspeaker. This is where you know you can push the last remaining bit of lactic acid out of your legs and leave it all on course. One last hill to climb and I can hear my chain crunching with every link over the teeth. Entering the barriers, adrenaline takes over as you look for that last right hand turn before sprinting over the line. I turn the corner behind two other racers, buzz one of the rear wheels in front of me and hear the announcer… “That’s right, if you’re not rubbin’ you’re not racing!”.

I’ll spare the normal post-race almost puke details, but I will admit I didn’t even want a beer for about 30 minutes (which is pretty good for me). Ernie was our perrennial campsite host for the Founders feast which ensued very shortly after all the teammates finished. Thanks Ernie! Getting this campsite and wood for the fire is what makes the rest of the day so relaxing and fun. Thanks to all who brought food, too! It’s all part of what makes this team work. As far as the rest of the day goes, I remember getting awards, watching the pros come in, standing by a campfire, eating a lot, being in a hotel suite with an extra sofa (what?! I know, ask Jeff), and some dream about being a backwoods bastard dancing with the devil. Yep, the day really ended with a bang.

Everyone competed very hard this year with many finishing in the top 20 in their divisions. Here’s the list of our Iceman podium climbers for 2012:

Earl Hillaker – 1st Place (Tandem)
Jeff Jacobi/Josh Hogeterp – 2nd Place (Tandem)
Gabe Niehof – 2nd Place (35)

Tim Curtis – 2nd Place (53-54)

Jeremy Karel – 3rd Place (28-29)
Ralf Scharnowski – 3rd Place (Clydesdale 40+)
Shawn Crowley – 4th Place (34)
Marnie Tencate – 4th Place (45-49)
Danielle Shaver – 4th Place (Lady Singlespeeds)
Matt Remelts – 5th Place (37)

I thought last year was impressive with 8 podiums, but we set a new standard this year with 11! By my calculations, the team took home $945. We could be our own sponsor with that!

Special recognition goes to:

“Little Tenner” or Max “Headroom” Tencate. He finished his first Iceman in 2:48:53! Good job, Max! Watch out for this guy.

Founders’ friends Jane Vanhof and Matt Hoffman respectively took 2nd and 3rd respectively in their respective divisions. Very respective! You both rocked it this year!

Considering Iceman and the top results from the year long CPS Series which included Jeremey Karel first place Expert Men 29-under,Tom Stolz 3rd place SS,┬áTim Curtis 2nd Place Expert 50-59, and┬áMarnie Tencate 2nd place Women’s Expert the team had a great season.

We would like to thank each and every sponsor for a great 2012 and we can’t wait to do it again in 2013.

The Team