While I’ve got marathon on my mind big-time these days—the Bayshore is about a month away, and how about yesterday’s fantastic Boston Marathon??—I’m also looking forward to an upcoming trail race in just another few weeks.
The inaugural Run The Ridge 10K Team Relay, organized by Traverse City running coach Lisa Taylor, who is also behind the Farmland 5K, is set for the night of May 10. That’s right, it’s an evening event, and it takes place at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort, a popular spot for northern Michigan race events. It falls on Mother’s Day weekend, and while I’m not yet sure who all in my family will be running, we’re planning to stay out there and take advantage of some great lodging specials for runners. (And have fun celebrating our race with fellow runners!)
Not only do I have the low-down on these specials and a behind-the-scenes look at Timber Ridge, I’ve also got four team entries to give away. That’s 4 teams, for a total of 8 entries, to this relay that takes runners on wooded trails next to Timber Ridge that are part of the Pere Marquette State Forest.
This promises to be a great event. As Lisa says, “When I think of races I have organized, the runner really gets a lot for the money. This year we’ll get a technical running cap, a s’mores kit, 2 beers, and a Pleva’s burger or brat!”
Here’s what Kristin LeVesque, co-owner of Timber Ridge, had to say about this special up north race venue and popular campground.
First, tell us about Timber Ridge…
Timber Ridge is a four-season resort. We offer camping in spring/summer/fall and groomed trails for cross country skiing and snow biking, snow shoe trails and ski and snow shoe rentals. Our trails lead in to the Vasa ski and biking trails and the single track bike trails.
We have over 200 tent and RV campsites with rustic or water and electric for tent guests through full hookup sites with sewer. We also offer cable on many of our sites. The majority of our sites are pull-thru, so the big rigs can pull in and depart with no difficulty. If you don’t have an RV or you’re not a tent camper, Timber Ridge has 35 cabin and cottage rentals.
There’s a lot to do during your stay, right?
Yes—included in your stay at Timber Ridge is a vast assortment of activities to participate in: heated swimming pool and kiddie pool, planned kids activities, theme weekends, dodge ball, volley ball, bike terrain park, wagon rides, glow parades, outdoor movies on big screen (just like being at a drive-in), playground, and many more fun activities. For your 4-legged buddies, we have a dog swimming pond, dog park and wooded trails for walking. There is a snack bar and many varieties of ice cream treats to choose from.
There is a banquet hall available for any type of celebration, so check us out when planning your next graduation party, wedding or bridal shower, wedding and reception, family reunion, company picnic, memorial service or class reunion. The hall has a beautiful setting with a covered bridge in the background, a courtyard surrounded by trees and flowers and a bonfire area that is always a favorite.
Timber Ridge is home to the Bells Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge, Vasa Ski Races, Big Foot Snow Shoe Race, Remembrance Run, Suds & Snow, Fat Camp Fat Tire Race, Endurance Evolution Traverse City Trail Running Festival, and we’re now proud to have the Run The Ridge Relay. Timber Ridge is a perfect venue for any type of outdoor recreation event and welcomes any new ideas and proposals to add to this amazing list of events.
Some readers may remember Timber Ridge once being a Yogi Bear campground (this is what I remember from my childhood!) Can you please give us a brief history of the place, and also details about the renovations that have been made there since 2005?
The very first thing we did was pave the parking lot! We replaced the entire rustic tent area of the park in to a seasonal camper area, which offers water, electric, cable and patios on every site. We turned almost every campsite in to a pull thru site, added many more sewer sites, added 20 cabins and cottages to bring a total of 35 cabins for rentals. There’s a new playground and other activity areas. We added back porches on to the main lodge and the banquet hall. We also remodeled the banquet hall and just recently finished an addition that will seat an additional 50 people. There were bathhouse upgrades and many infrastructure improvements due to the park being 40 years old.
Timber Ridge is such a welcoming place for all of us who love outdoor activities. Why is it important for Timber Ridge to play host to a number of races and outdoor activities?
Outdoor recreation was our vision when we changed the name from Timber Ridge Campground and Nordic Center to Timber Ridge RV and Recreation Resort. Our property is the gateway to the Vasa and state land, which plays a vital role in our community. So having a strong relationship with TART Trails and the other organizations that maintain and utilize our great trail system is very important to us. The property along with the resources available to assist in creating all the great events here has definitely improved on all the events that are held here and all of them are either for charity reasons, for the promotion of outdoor activities (including encouraging more youth involvement), and awareness of not only our trails but those that you can access from here.
Our core business is camping and we shape our kids activities during camping season all around outdoor activities. Our goal is to keep the kids active outdoors with a variety of games, contests—a lot of these are really quirky and just good ol’ fun things to do. We want the kids going back to their campsites at night tired and ready for bed so the parents can enjoy their days and not worry where the kids are and everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
What kind of specials can runners and their families take advantage of if they decide to stay at Timber Ridge during race weekend?
I know the race takes place still early in the camping season, but we have some great offers for race families and participants! I encourage people to get a group together and either get campsites all together. And if they don’t have a tent or RV, our cabins are an awesome alternative. We can arrange to have campsites near the cabins in order to keep friends as close to each other as we can. Wouldn’t it be great for people to have a site or cabin and we could take a look at how we could route the relay by them and people could decorate their site or cabin and spectators can cheer on the racers as they race by. The race takes place in the early evening so by the time everyone is finished and awards and the food is done, all you have to do is walk back to your campsite, have the campfire already going and hang out and relax around the fire cooking s’mores and talk about the relay, or when you would like to take another camping trip here as another stay-cation this year and really take advantage of all the activities we have to offer.
Our bargains are: Tent for $18 ($9 savings); camper/RV/popup sites for $25 ( $7 savings); Basic Cabin $45 ($20 savings), sleeps up to 5, has heat, microwave, refrigerator; Deluxe Cabin $60 ($15 savings), sleeps 3-5, heat, kitchenette, bathroom. These rates are good for 1-3 day stay, May 9-11.
Race entry giveaway details: To enter to win one of four team entries, please share why you’d like to run this race, who you plan to run with, and your thoughts on running trails. (If you aren’t yet much of a trail runner, no problem, just share why you’d like to run the trails!) Please leave comments in the comment section below. Four winners will be chosen at random—if you are chosen, you will be able to sign up yourself and your running partner for free and you’ll run the relay as a team. All entries must be received by NOON EST Friday, April 25. Winners will be announced here on the blog this weekend, April 26-27.
This event will take you and your best running biddy on a 5K trail route (1.55 each loop), where your first runner will “hand off” a baton in an exchange zone after the second loop, then you’ll venture off to do the same. Post-race festivities include camp-style food, beer, s’mores and campfires at sunset.
Good luck, everyone! I hope to see many MRG readers at this event!