Marquette is one of those gems that might not stay a secret for long. It has something for everyone from great breweries and hiking destinations, to some serious mountain bike trails right in the city limits. The city of Marquette makes the drive from West Michigan worth the trip.
Ore to Shore has been on my list for a few years now. I decided to give the single speed class a try as that has been my bike of choice as of late. I tried for a preferred start but because I had never done the race before, one was not granted. After spending some relaxing nights at the duplex at Brentwood thanks to Paul, the team headed out early Saturday morning to put our bikes in line hoping for a decent start towards the front. Because it’s a mass start, the closer you are to the front the better off you are. Once the trumpets blew, the race was off and I settled into what felt like a decent pace on the fast pavement roll out. I knew I would get passed by a lot of people on my single speed but also knew once we hit dirt I could begin to pick people off.
Ore to Shore is cool for several reasons. First, its a hammer fest from the start. You have to lay all your chips out if you want a good result. You really can’t hide or rely on mtb skills as it is pretty much a pure road race. Second, the dust makes it look and feel like a race through Baja, California. There were times where you literally couldn’t see your own front wheel.
As the race went on I ended up moving up the field pretty quick. I ended up passing the first place single speed rider around mile 12 and didn’t look back. The group I road with put the hammer down and what was a large pack began to whittle down to just four. We road together the entire last 12 miles and once the infamous Superior Dome was in sight, my legs knew it and began to cramp. I ended up letting the three other riders I was with go and crossed the line as the first single speed rider and 39th overall.
The Founders team was kind enough to go back and suffer through the awards ceremony so I could snag my cash money and trophy and good times with friends was had later in the evening.
This is a race that I will definitely make a point of doing again. The South Trails in Marquette are incredible and grow every year. Going up a few days early and staying a couple days after the race make this a perfect mid summer trip for the family and friends.
|Jeremy Karel||1st||Place||2:42||Finish Time|
|Josh Hogeterp||18th||Place||2:56||Finish Time|
|Tim Curtis||3rd||Place||3:05||Finish Time|
|Paul Popeilarz||5th||Place||3:07||Finish Time|
|Ralf Sharnowski||31st||Place||3:12||Finish Time|
|Jane Vanhof||2nd||Place||3:14||Finish Time|
|Dennis Murphy||37th||Place||3:21||Finish Time|
|Marnie Tencate||2nd||Place||3:25||Finish Time|