As a formerly fanatical football fan, something had to fill the void - and along came the Women‘s Ski Tour, held on Super Bowl Sunday each of the last five years. The tour is the only event of its kind in the U.S., offering cross-country skiing and snow shoeing for women in a non-competitive atmosphere.
Instead of being stuck inside, watching the Super Bore on TV, it is now possible to spend the day in the great outdoors at the Timber Ridge Nordic Center, several miles southeast of Traverse City. The event is expected to raise at least $10,000 for Madeline‘s House, TART Trails, and the Women‘s Resource Center.
As a guy, how did I come to participate in the Women‘s Ski Tour, you ask? Though only women ski and snowshoe in the event, both men and women can volunteer for the tour.
It is the guys for whom I pass along the following secret. So, women: you are not allowed to read beyond this sentence under any circumstances.
Men, are you nuts? Forget the Super Bowl or most anything else you have got going on Sunday, January 26th. Where else can you go and spend a day watching one thousand beautiful, athletic women ski?
As a volunteer last year, my job was to point out the right direction for the skiers at an intersection on the trail. These ladies might have gotten lost without the heroic course marshals to show the way. Men will always love to give directions even if it is not needed or our advice particularly accurate.
Actually, in my case, I mostly chatted with the ladies who took a break at my intersection and cheered on the women who passed without stopping. They came in at various ages and levels of speed but all had one thing in common: they were there to have fun. Single guys: you are also guaranteed a good time and who knows: maybe Princess Charming is waiting just around the next bend in the ski trail for you.
The latest update from tour officials is that there is still an acute need for course marshals who are strong skiers but there are also several other types of jobs for volunteers. As much as I enjoyed my duties, I was envious of the guys who provided food and drink at the finish line for the female skiers who completed the 15k, 5k, or 3k tours. The ladies who skied seemed elated to see that men were involved in an event that benefited women and had more time to express it to the guys at the finish. All of the above is top secret, though. Men: we don‘t want too many guys showing up at the Women‘s Ski Tour, do we?
Hooray. As we go to press only a couple of weeks before the event, it is finally beginning to snow in Northern Michigan. It doesn‘t matter, though. The Women‘s Ski Tour will be held even if weather forces the event to become a hike without much snow. For more information, men or women can call 231-929-7775 or log on to www.womensskitour.com.