Gregg Defends Title at 41st U.P. Health System Great Bear Chase

Former Olympian Caitlin Gregg defended her 50km skiathlon title, while Swiss native and Northern Michigan University skier Maurus Grond took the men’s title at the 41st annual U.P. Health System Great Bear Chase cross country ski race. A pandemic-limited 550 skiers took to the Swedetown trails on Saturday, March 13, in Calumet, Michigan. Complete results are at an anything but normal year, organizers limited ... [Read more]

Virtual Race Added for 2021

The Great Bear Chase has added a virtual event for the 2021 race. Registration is free and skiers can complete a 10, 25 or 50k ski any time during race week, from March 7 through March 14. All Virtual GBC 2021 participants will be entered in to a drawing for fun prizes!The Virtual 2021 GBC is free. Donations are welcomed with all proceeds of the event going to the Swedetown Trails Club. You can register for the virtual event here.Please ... [Read more]

Registration Open and Summary of Changes

The Great Bear Chase is planning to hold an in-person/on-snow race March 13, 2021 on the beautiful Swedetown Trails in Calumet, Michigan! Things are going to look different, much like everything else this past year, but one thing that will not change is the top-quality grooming and friendly nature of the Great Bear Chase. The 2021 Great Bear Chase will continue to feature seven races: the popular 50km Skiathlon, and freestyle and ... [Read more]

Record Attendance at 40th Anniversary UP Health System Great Bear Chase

A record 866 skiers enjoyed a perfect day for cross country skiing Saturday for the 40th annual UP Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon at the Swedetown Trails in Calumet.  Two former Olympians, Brian and Caitlin Gregg, took the men’s and women’s titles in the 50km skiathlon. Brian is also a six-time national champion, while Caitlin is a former All-American at Northern Michigan University and the only five-time winner ... [Read more]

Great Bear Chase Celebrates 40 Years

The UP Health System Portage Great Bear Chase will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, March 7. Last year's event set a record for participation, with more than 800 racers. The Great Bear Chase committee has been working hard over the past few years to really make this a high quality event, listening to racer and volunteer feedback and making improvements each year. In recent years we’ve added a 50km skiathlon, found a new ... [Read more]

2019 Great Bear Chase to Start With Record Numbers

The 39th UP Health System Great Bear Chase has seen a record number of registrations, with more than 800 skiers expected to start in one of the event's seven individual races. "There are a number of factors that have made the Great Bear Chase successful," said Race Director Angela Luskin, Health and Fitness Manager at UP Health System Portage. "The skiathlon is now in its fifth year and has proven very popular. We believe the number ... [Read more]

Wax Recommendations – 2019

Swix and Toko have both posted wax recommendations for the Great Bear Chase. The two local shops are Cross Country Sports in Calumet and Downwind Sports in Houghton - we recommend calling ahead, though. Supplies may be limited. Toko recommendation Swix recommendation ... [Read more]

Hooked, Fitzpatrick skiing in Second GBC

Kelsae Fitzpatrick grew up on a little hobby farm in Minnesota. After becoming a Registered Dietitian, she accepted a position at UP Health System Portage. At that point, she had never been to Michigan and didn’t even know the U.P. existed. She’s been here since 2012 and never plans on leaving! Kelsae participated in the Great Bear Chase for the first time last year. Her first experience with the event was “amazing!” However, she ... [Read more]

Who is That Man in White?

Some of you may have seen the “man in white” while participating in the Great Bear Chase. Bruce MacDonald tells us he wears white because “his heart is pure and snow is white.” Bruce missed out on the very first Great Bear Chase but notably has completed all 35 Great Bear Chases since while on classic skis and he’s kept track of all those distances – eighteen 50k’s, fourteen 25k’s and now he’s on to 10 k’s. His first 25 races were all ... [Read more]

New for 2019 and Registration Open

Registration is open for the 2019 Great Bear Chase, which will take place Saturday, March 9. The organizing committee has expanded the age range for those receiving a fee discount to age 19. All skiers 19 and under pay just $40, no matter the distance or when they register. "These young skiers represent the future of our sport," said organizing committee member Dean Woodbeck. "We want to do everything we can to encourage their ... [Read more]

Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon