While many North Americans have put an end to their race seasons, several thousand mountain bikers will converge in Michigan for the annual Iceman Cometh Challenge, a 27 mile point-to-point race traditionally held the first Saturday of November. The 18th annual edition of the race will be held this year instead on the second Saturday, November 10, 2007, with US$23,200 in cash going to the winners.
The sold-out race will start in Kalkaska, Michigan and finish on the eastern edge of Traverse City, Michigan. The course consists primarily of dirt roads, doubletrack (the majority of the course), abandoned railroad beds, and the world famous Vasa Nordic ski trail. The race crosses just one paved road just beyond the half-way point as it winds through the Pere Marquette State Forest in northern lower Michigan. In 2006, 2,267 racers competed, with Mike Simonson and Kelli Emmett winning the men's and women's races respectively.
The weather is highly variable depending on the year, and the race is famous for some editions in snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures. Saturday's forecast is looking good currently for lows that morning of 31 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.5 degrees Celsius) and highs of 46 (7.8 degrees Celsius). Although some snow flurries are predicted in the area this week, no snow is in the forecast for race day.