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2021 Noquemanon Ski Marathon moves to virtual format

The Virtual option will give Full and Half marathon skiers more time for improved snow conditions, including classic track for the classic skiers, and allow for a better experience overall.
FILE. The start of the Noquemanon in 2018.
FILE. The start of the Noquemanon in 2018.(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:27 PM EST
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Noquemanon Ski Marathon will be done differently this year, due to snow conditions and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Noquemanon Ski Marathon Race Committee says race wave sizes were lowered to accommodate to COVID-19 restrictions, but those still don’t fall under current epidemic order outdoor gathering sizes from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

The race committee said the lower snow pack this year, and mild to warm temperatures, also contributed to the decision to move the race to the virtual format.

Read the full statement, including the virtual details, in the letter from the committee below. Stay tuned to future updates on the event’s website or Facebook page.

The Noquemanon Ski Marathon prides itself on hosting a high-quality one-of-a-kind experience with both safety and enjoyment at the forefront. These factors are paramount in our decision making as we evaluate our ability to safely host the Noquemanon each year. Every year we are humbled by the amazing volunteers and support we receive from our communities.  

As the Race Committee made preparations for the 2021 marathon, we paid a great deal of attention to the safety of our volunteers, the safety of our racers, our front-line workers, and the safety of our course options. 

It was important to the Race Committee that should any of these things come in to question we would err on the side of caution to ensure the Noquemanon Ski Marathon’s legacy was one of healthy enjoyment of a sport and trail system we love. 

For these reasons the 2021 Noquemanon Ski Marathon Race Committee is now shifting to the “Virtual Noque” format. All participants that registered for the Full and Half ski marathon will be automatically entered into the current Virtual event – all other events planned to take place (Junior Noque, 12K, 10K/5K Snowshoe, Adaptive, Skijour) have been canceled for 2021.

We think it is important to let you know that the Race Committee put precautions in place that mirror what races around the world have used to safely host outside events throughout 2020-21. We limited our course and extended the duration of the event to limit group sizes, we removed spectators, removed touch points, and we eliminated inside gatherings. 

Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent factors that are outside of our control. Though we lowered our wave sizes to 30 it is not possible to meet the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) maximum allowable outside gathering restrictions that were reinforced this week. 

We also have had some challenging weather with low snow volume and higher temperatures resulting in a trail we do not feel can be maintained over the course of three days of racing. 

While it seems there may be a little snow on the way, there is not enough certainty that enough new snow will accumulate in enough time for appropriate course preparation for racing in waves over the timeframe we have planned for. 

The Virtual option will give Full and Half marathon skiers more time for improved snow conditions, including classic track for the classic skiers, and allow for a better experience overall.

We will continue on with our Virtual event and would love to see you here to participate in this option.  It is likely we can offer more trail, a better course, and a better experience in this format for this year’s Noque. 

We know that our trail system will provide you with the experience you truly deserve so we hope to see you out there if you were planning to travel to Marquette for the Noquemanon. 

Thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, supporters and communities for believing in us and participating in our very first Virtual Noque. We look forward to seeing you out on the trail over the next several weeks. 

Stay in touch with our website for further Virtual Noque details!

Noquemanon Ski Marathon Race Committee

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