I took over the role of leader for the White Pine Stampede because my husband, Jack McKaig, loved this race so much and it was important to many people that it continue.  The race committee has dedicated itself, every single person on the committee, to investing many hours and constant effort to making this happen.


It would be impossible to overstate their individual efforts!


Many of you know that the birth of the White Pine Stampede happened at a meeting in 1976, when the Chambers of Commerce from four counties, Antrim, Kalkaska, Otsego and Crawford, met to discuss a winter event.  Cross country skiing was becoming increasingly popular in our country.  Gus Knopnicki, from Grayling, was dedicated to the sport and had been involved in the invasion of Nazi occupied Poland, his native land, at the end of World War Two—an invasion that involved cross country skiing.  Jack and I were interested in the sport and in fact, for years, we often skied together.  At the conclusion of this meeting, everyone wanted to go forward with a race.  It was determined that they needed a “race director”.  Jack said, “I can do that!”  And so it happened!  The race originally started in Frederic and ended at Mount Mancelona in Mancelona.  At first it was only a 50K race and then the 20K was added.  A few years later the 10K race became a part of the event.


So many good memories—so many good people.  It would be impossible to recount them all.  Jack loved this race and taught our family to value it also.  As has often been stated, “The White Pine Stampede is a family event for so many.”


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This 43rd White Pine Stampede will be bittersweet.  Jack is gone but it is so important that the race continue!  Volunteers, Skiers, Families--thank you everyone!