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Two sled events to hit DL Saturday

The J&K Beach Bar 200 USXC Late Model Cross Country Snowmobile Races start in front of the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes around 9 a.m. and go throughout most of the day, with the professional races wrapping up the event. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham1 / 2
ULTRA’s ‘80s and Older Classic Cruise Snowmobile Ride takes off Saturday, Jan. 4, from the Becker County Fairgrounds. The event, which is free and open to the public, is a slower ride that will take riders across the lake and to Vergas and back. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham2 / 2

Snowmobilers have been getting all revved up over the snow on the ground, the snow in the forecast and the upcoming snowmobile events ready to take off in Detroit Lakes.

ULTRA Classic Cruise

The ULTRA snowmobile club is putting together its second annual ’80s and Older Classic Cruise Snowmobile Ride, set to take place Saturday, Jan. 4.

The event starts with a 10 a.m. meet at the Becker County Fair Grounds in Detroit Lakes.

“We’ll head out across the lake and down the snowmobile trail all the way to Vergas,” said Wayne Schlauderaff, who says the crew will be stopping off for a bite at Billy’s Corner Bar in Vergas.

Although Schlauder-aff says anybody with any style sled is invited, the event is designed to bring in the older styles.

“The vintage world has gotten so big that a lot of people like to get out with a group of other sleds that don’t go as fast,” said Schlauderaff, who says nobody has to worry about keeping up on these slower-paced rides.

Last year there were about 50 riders participating in the event, but Schlauderaff expects that number to increase some, as there is much more snow on the ground this year.

There will also be a newly restored 1969 Polaris Homelite snowmobile on display during the event. It will be a raffle prize for ULTRA’s February ride.

The Saturday, Jan. 4, family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

There is no registration fee and no permit required for the trails. Simply show up at the fairgrounds around 10 a.m. to take part.

For more information on the event, call Wayne Schlauderaff at 218-849-3069.

USXC Cross Country Races

For those who are feeling the need for speed, the J&K Beach Bar 200 USXC Late Model Cross Country Snowmobile Races are also set to hit the lake by the Holiday Inn on that same day.

Although this event typically only brings in a couple of local racers, Kevin Tinjum, co-owner of J&K Marine in Detroit Lakes, is one of them who says it’s actually fairly easy to get into.

“There are some novice classes, so some guy can go try it for the first time and be reasonably competitive,” said Tinjum, who says it’s a great way to stretch out.

“You don’t have to worry about speed limits or people coming from the other way, so you can really just get your adrenaline out, compete and go fast,” he said.

The extreme cross country Le Mans style racing, which pulls around 120 racers in for 250 different registrations, starts at 9 a.m. in front of the Holiday Inn and is expected to last most of the daylight hours.

 “We always have a good amount of spectators,” said Kevin Flynn, marketing manager for the Holiday Inn, “so we’ll have seating on the patio and chairs out in front of the hotel.”

There is no cost to watch the event from the hotel; there will be food and drink specials specifically for the races.

There will be 20 different classes racing the 10- mile stretch around the lake, all the way from vintage sleds to the pro open.

The USXC race is the second one on the docket for the year and the only one in Detroit Lakes.

Tinjum says races like these can be exciting to see, as the finish line is near the Holiday Inn.

“My sled goes up to 85, but the pros are running 100 plus miles per hour,” he said.

Prizes and trophies will be handed out to winners, while the pros will be racing for cash.

To participate in the event, register online before Jan. 2 or by Jan. 3 at the Holiday Inn.

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Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes and Perham, both in Minnesota.

(218) 844-1466