White Pine Stampede Recap: We did it, baby!

Fifteen members of Team Huma recently successfully competed in the 2011 White Pine Stampede.

40k Classic: Joe Short, James Short, Jeff Short, Nick Fairbanks, Jon Wojtowicz and Matt Drake

40k Freestyle: Mark Dressler and Todd Gyulveszi

20k Classic: Mark Mueller, Stephanie Lockman, Ryan Hale, Tony Hansen, Leah Short, and Kathy Koerber

10k Classic: Kelly Short

Race morning dawned sunny and relatively warm (about 30 degrees). As the 40k racers gathered in the starting corral near Mancelona High School, Nick Fairbanks pulled his iPod out of his pocket and began to get his game face on. Totally joking, we asked him which NPR podcasts he was going to fire up. Nick’s reply: “All Things Considered for the flat sections and the Diane Rehm Show for the hills.” Though many of us are not super fast on skis, we have good senses of humor.

But before you go thinking that we are all slow, we actually had some significant success stories:

  • Mark Dressler finished 24th overall in the event with a time of 2 hours and 3 minutes.
  • James Short finished first in the 40k classic for his age category.
  • Leah Short finished first in the 20k classic for her age category.

Here’s an interview with Team Huma member, Matt Drake:

Q: You finished the 40k in last place. How do you feel about that?

A: I feel pretty awesome! I mean, I finished. I’m alive. And everyone was there to cheer me on at the finish. But on a serious note, I just skied 40 kilometers for the first time in my life. That feels pretty awesome. It isn’t how fast or skilled Team Huma members are at these events that counts, it’s the fact that they are outside enjoying Northern Michigan and getting in shape. That is what we’re all about. I am glad I came in last because hopefully it will inspire others to be last in the future, which would then make me not be last. Which could be cool, also.

Q: So not being last is also good, in your eyes?

A: Yes. As long as you have fun and drink a celebratory Huma at the end. Which you can also do if you are last.

Q: What was your favorite part of today’s event?

A: They had aid stations with free cookies and oranges set out buffet-style. Oh, and in the 37th kilometer there was this huge S-shaped downhill. I missed the first part of the S-curve and superman-flew headfirst into some deep powder. The snow was so deep I couldn’t get up. So I just kind of flailed around in the woods for about five minutes. About 75 yards away, these course volunteers were just watching me and waiting for me to get up. I’m sure they thought I was pretty awesome. I did finally manage to get up and keep going, though. So that was good.

Q: And that was the best part of the event?

A: It was pretty hilarious! But actually, now that I think about, getting back to the Pub afterwards for a pint of Huma was probably the best.

Q: Was it a complex malt and hop theme park in your mouth?

A: Of course!

Enjoy our video recap below. Video credit: Aaron Smith