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'We got lucky': Organizers on trail conditions before 42nd North American VASA

'We got lucky': Organizers on trail conditions before 42nd North American VASA

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- This weekend about a thousand racers will flood into Traverse City for the 42nd Annual North American VASA Festival of Races.

“Even with all of the rain and melt down we had a couple weeks ago the trail's never been in better shape,” said North American VASA president Mike Haley.

It's all hands on deck getting ready for this weekend, with several races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, organizers say the recent snow and cold came right in time.

“We got lucky again this year,” said Haley. “Might as well take the luck. But hey, we're in great shape and again the groomers are just incredible and they really work hard.”

But there's also hard work going into making sure everything else is in order, saying none of it would be possible without their dozens of volunteers.

“No, I mean nothing,” Haley laughed. “None of it would be.”

One of those volunteers is George Lombard, who is responsible for making the VASA what it is today, by organizing efforts to get the trail built in 1990.

“I could see that we had the potential of having a tremendous trail which we do,” said Lombard.

The race has grown into something people from around the world now attend, and while it's the first year Lombard won't be racing, you can still find him at Timber Ridge all weekend.

“I'm not skiing this year,” said Lombard. “My shoulders are giving me problems at 87 years of age. But I'll see a lot of my friends even friends from out of state that I have raced against for years.”

Saying it's a special event, whether it's your first try, or you’re going for gold.

“We've created, or at least are trying to create, a whole weekend for people that can be as competitive as they want or not,” said Haley. “The main thing is come in and have fun, it's wintertime.”

Saturday is the freestyle events as well as kids tours and fat tire bike races. Sunday is the classic races.

It's not too late to register, for more information on the North American VASA Festival of Races, click here.

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