Be a Part of U.P. History
What makes The Big Bay Relay different than any other relay? It is the Upper Peninsula’s most esteemed and historic race relay event. Join the Noquemanon Trail Network in celebrating the 40thannual Big Bay Relay kicking off at the Kaufman Sports Complex parking lot on MI Saturday, May 21st 2016! Start time is 8:00 am with the finish at the Thunder Bay Inn, Big Bay.
The relay welcomes runners of all levels and we cannot wait to see what creative team names our runners come up with for the 2016 race! Teams are composed of five runners for adults and up to seven for youth teams.
In spring of 1972, Marquette held its first Big Bay Relay coordinated by Race Director Karen Kunkle and her husband Jack. The first race brought only ten relay teams and has grown to include over fifty teams in the past several years. A note in the Upper Peninsula Road Runners Club named the Big Bay Relay the 1990 Race of the Year.
Some relay teams have been racing for more than twenty years and hold a special place as part of the annual race’s history.
Lisa Holmberg’s family started running the relay in 1984 and continues to hand down the relay legacy and tradition through her family today. Holmberg started running the race with her father when she was just twenty years old. “My dad named our team Dead Last because we were pretty slow. Our team [raced for] about twenty years”. Holmberg’s father stayed on the team until his retirement in 2007. Today Holmberg’s children are a part of the Kick’n Asphalt team. Holmberg participates in the all-women’s team, Marga-Relay-Ville, while her parents Tom and Phyllis Burge still participate by driving them during the race.
“Every year we take a picture of our current teams. It is funny to look back through the years and see all the people who have come with us on this journey”. Says Holmberg.
If you are an elite runner who wants to compete, or a group of friends that want to try something adventurous, this picturesque relay is for you. For thirty-eight years the Big Bay Relay has been uniting community members, families and friends, and we want you to be a part of this year’s race!
A community member describes the race- “That is what it is about: having fun with your friends and family while doing something healthy”.
Registration fees are $120 per team before May 1st and $140 after May 1st. Registration divisions include five person all-female, all-male, or mixed teams and seven person junior division teams. This year all proceeds benefit the Noquemanon Skijor Club. If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions please contact Nicole Dewald at 906.869.4054, or by e-mail email@example.com.