The Noquemenon Ski Marathon has come and gone. But the positive effects the race had on Marquette County are phenomenal!
Even though most of the ski races in the Midwest cancelled, the Noquemenon lucked out when Old Man Winter brought some much-needed snow to the Upper Peninsula and the race was able to go on.
Over 1,600 people participated in the Noquemenon weekend. That's a record number of competitors for the races. Hotels were to the point of no vacancy, and restaurants had lines.
The participants travelled from all over to compete.
Pat Black, Executive Director for the Marquette Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said, "There are people that entered from the Upper Peninsula, but I was really surprised at the Traverse City area, Northern Wisconsin, states as far away as Utah and Arizona. That tells me that this race has really risen to be a major player in our winter economy."
Noquemenon Race Director Nicole Dewald said the race was a huge success.
"The Race Committee really wants to thank the Marquette community, the Negaunee and Ishpeming communities for the support of the race. They show our race participants what it is to become an impactful community for, not only health reasons, but community service reasons," said Dewald.
The 600 volunteers and recent snowfall in the Marquette County area helped a lot.
"We got lucky with the snow. That has to come into play so much this winter that now we can sit back and know that the rest of the winter with our events are going to be great," Black added.
Planning for next year's race will begin in the next few weeks.