Race Guide

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The 2021 Great Bear Chase will look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Race Guide will continue to be updated as details are finalized. Thank you for your support!

  • We have added a virtual event for 2021.
  • We have reduced most entry fees by $5 for 2021.
  • When registering, skiers will choose an 10-minute window for starting, with no more than 50 skiers starting in any one 10-minute block. Skiers can start any time during the 10-minute block.
  • Should the Great Bear Chase be cancelled due to COVID-19, skiers can choose to apply their registration fee to the 2022 race.
  • 2021 registration will close March 8 at 11:59 pm.
  • Race changes will not be accepted after March 8 at 11:59 pm.
  • We will not have a pasty lunch in the school gym this year, but are working on details to still have pasties for all skiers.
  • The number of racers is currently capped at 550. This could change based on state of Michigan requirements and/or organizer discretion.
  • The CLK Rotary Spaghetti dinner will not be taking place this year.
  • Spectators will not be allowed in the start/finish area or at the Swedetown chalet.

The UP Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon has something for everyone and enough snow to go around, even in March!  The Great Bear Chase has earned a reputation as a skier-oriented weekend that allows skiers of all experience levels to finish their season with a high quality event.

  • 50 km skiathlon (limited to 80 entries)
  • 50 km freestyle
  • 50 km classic
  • 25 km freestyle
  • 25 km classic
  • 10 km freestyle
  • 10 km classic
  • Virtual event available for all distances

Weekend Schedule

Please note, all times are Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Friday, March 12, 2021

5:00-8:30 p.m.
Bib Pickup Look for more details to come as the race gets closer

Drive-thru bib pickup at Calumet High School, 57070 Mine Street, Calumet, MI 49913. Race packets can be picked up by others.

Reminder – Registration for the Great Bear Chase closes March 8 at 11:59 pm. All race changes must be made before this date, as well. Email such requests to info@greatbearchase.com

Saturday, March 13, 2021

7 – 9 a.m.
Bib Pick-Up

Drive-thru bib pickup at Calumet High School, 57070 Mine Street, Calumet, MI 49913. Race packets can be picked up by others.

8:00 – 10:08 a.m.
Race Start

All races will begin and finish near Spruce Street in Calumet (see the map for start/finish and parking)!

Skiers will choose a 10-minute window for starting during the registration process, with no more than 50 skiers starting in any one 10-minute block. Skiers can start any time during the 10-minute block. Timing will start as soon as you cross the start line.

Start times:

  • Corral 1 – 8:00-8:08 a.m. 50 km
  • Corral 2 – 8:10-8:18 a.m. 50 km
  • Corral 3 – 8:20-8:28 a.m. 50 km
  • Corral 4 – 8:30-8:38 a.m. 50 km and 25 km
  • Corral 5 – 8:40-8:48 a.m. 50 km and 25 km
  • Corral 7 – 9:00-9:08 a.m.  25 km
  • Corral 8 – 9:10-9:18 a.m. 25 km
  • Corral 9 – 9:20-9:28 a.m. 25 and 10 km
  • Corral 10 – 9:30-9:38 a.m. 25 and 10 km
  • Corral 12 – 9:50-9:58 a.m. 10 km
  • Corral 13 – 10:00-10:08 a.m. 10 km

Race Finish: Upon finishing, racers should proceed directly to their cars. There will be no aid station, bag drop, or warming buses at the finish area. Spectators are not allowed in the start/finish area. Please plan ahead!

Post Race
Free Pasty Lunch Look for more details to come

We plan to offer drive-thru pasty pick-up at Calumet High School. This is dependent on state regulations and organizer discretion. The school’s locker rooms and showers will not be open for use this year.

Awards and Door Prizes

Overall and age group awards will be offered, but there will not be an awards ceremony this year. All racers will once again be eligible for door prizes. Details are still being finalized, but updated age groups can be found below under each race category.

Other Information

  • Please, no dogs at the event – to assure the safety of skiers and spectators, no pets are allowed anywhere on the event grounds, including the stadium, the course, spectator areas, and the CLK schools.
  • No spectators in the start/finish or at the Swedetown Chalet
  • Trail markings will be clear, with markers every 2 km.
  • Aid Stations – There will be one aid stations where skiers can refill their bottles with water or energy drink (14km and 40km). Racers should be self-supporting for food; aid stations will not have food this year.
  • Spectators are not allowed in the start/finish or at the Swedetown chalet.
  • 50km minimum age is 17.
  • Safety personnel from UP Health System, Mercy EMS and local First Responders will be on hand and in radio contact with check points.
  • Results are available as the race progresses at www.superiortiming.com
  • Photos – Racers will receive an email when photos are available for free download.

Map – Registration, parking, race start/finish

Race Descriptions / Maps

25 km & 50 km Great Bear Chase Race Course

Download a PDF of the 25/50km course.

50 km Skiathlon Race

The 50km Skiathlon features a combined competition of 25 km classic skiing followed by 25 km freestyle skiing. The two lap course is perfect for one lap of striding and one lap of skating.

The Great Bear Chase 50K Skiathlon is part of the CXC Marathon Cup. Sanctioned and scored by Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC), the Cup includes races in each of the three main states in the region – two races in Michigan, two in Wisconsin, and three in Minnesota.

Fast Facts:

  • Male and Female age groups: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
  • Register Here!

50 km Freestyle Race

The 50 km freestyle is the most competitive race at the Great Bear Chase. This race features master skiers from all over the Midwest as they come out in one last hurrah for the season! It’s also a popular event for college skiers throughout the region who finish their season in the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula.

Fast Facts:

50 km Classic Race

Classic skiers want – and deserve – their own 50 km race, and the Great Bear Chase delivers. The 50 km classic skiers two passes through the Great Bear Chase course.

Fast Facts:

25 km Freestyle Race

The 25 km freestyle provides an excellent end-of-season goal for serious racers and mainstream recreational skiers alike.

Fast Facts:

25 km Classic Race

The 25 km classic race appeals to those who want the traditional experience of a half marathon, as well as those who like to “tour” for a morning. Many master skiers and serious recreational skiers use this as their goal for the season.

Fast Facts:

10 km Great Bear Chase Race Course

Download a PDF of the 10km course.

10 km Freestyle Race

Come out and experience the Great Bear Chase and Swedetown Trails. This event simplifies the course by cutting out some of the tougher technical downhills, but still gives racers the beauty of Swedetown Trails and The Great Bear Chase, and includes a couple challenging loops.

Fast Facts:

10 km Classic Race

The course is suitable for intermediate skiers and is a great way to take your first step into Nordic ski racing.

Fast Facts: