Record Attendance at 40th Anniversary UP Health System Great Bear Chase

A record 866 skiers enjoyed a perfect day for cross country skiing Saturday for the 40th annual UP Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon at the Swedetown Trails in Calumet.  Two former Olympians, Brian and Caitlin Gregg, took the men’s and women’s titles in the 50km skiathlon. Brian is also a six-time national champion, while Caitlin is a former All-American at Northern Michigan University and the only five-time winner ... [Read more]

Great Bear Chase Celebrates 40 Years

The UP Health System Portage Great Bear Chase will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, March 7. Last year's event set a record for participation, with more than 800 racers. The Great Bear Chase committee has been working hard over the past few years to really make this a high quality event, listening to racer and volunteer feedback and making improvements each year. In recent years we’ve added a 50km skiathlon, found a new ... [Read more]

2019 Great Bear Chase to Start With Record Numbers

The 39th UP Health System Great Bear Chase has seen a record number of registrations, with more than 800 skiers expected to start in one of the event's seven individual races. "There are a number of factors that have made the Great Bear Chase successful," said Race Director Angela Luskin, Health and Fitness Manager at UP Health System Portage. "The skiathlon is now in its fifth year and has proven very popular. We believe the number ... [Read more]

Wax Recommendations – 2019

Swix and Toko have both posted wax recommendations for the Great Bear Chase. The two local shops are Cross Country Sports in Calumet and Downwind Sports in Houghton - we recommend calling ahead, though. Supplies may be limited. Toko recommendation Swix recommendation ... [Read more]

Hooked, Fitzpatrick skiing in Second GBC

Kelsae Fitzpatrick grew up on a little hobby farm in Minnesota. After becoming a Registered Dietitian, she accepted a position at UP Health System Portage. At that point, she had never been to Michigan and didn’t even know the U.P. existed. She’s been here since 2012 and never plans on leaving! Kelsae participated in the Great Bear Chase for the first time last year. Her first experience with the event was “amazing!” However, she ... [Read more]

Who is That Man in White?

Some of you may have seen the “man in white” while participating in the Great Bear Chase. Bruce MacDonald tells us he wears white because “his heart is pure and snow is white.” Bruce missed out on the very first Great Bear Chase but notably has completed all 35 Great Bear Chases since while on classic skis and he’s kept track of all those distances – eighteen 50k’s, fourteen 25k’s and now he’s on to 10 k’s. His first 25 races were all ... [Read more]

New for 2019 and Registration Open

Registration is open for the 2019 Great Bear Chase, which will take place Saturday, March 9. The organizing committee has expanded the age range for those receiving a fee discount to age 19. All skiers 19 and under pay just $40, no matter the distance or when they register. "These young skiers represent the future of our sport," said organizing committee member Dean Woodbeck. "We want to do everything we can to encourage their ... [Read more]

Photos from 2018 Available

Download photos from the 2018 race. ... [Read more]

2018 Great Bear Chase Results

See the results from the 2018 race. ... [Read more]

Record 740 Skiers in 2018 Great Bear Chase

A record 740 skiers enjoyed a perfect day for cross country skiing Saturday for the 38th annual UP Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon at the Swedetown Trails on Saturday. Temperatures in the mid-20s and a solid base created fast condition for the 50 kilometer, 25 kilometer, and 10 kilometer races. Former Michigan Tech skier Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wisconsin) and past U.S. Ski Team member Tad Elliott (Durango, Colorado) took ... [Read more]