Another snowmobile race has fallen victim to this winter’s unusual weather. The USCC Red Lake I-500 cross-country race that was scheduled for next weekend has been cancelled.
“We had to pull the pin. There’s just no snow and no lake to make it happen this year,” said Jesse Strege, USCC race director. “That’s the reality of our situation this year.” The ISOC snocross series recently postponed its race in Farmington, N.Y., because of unseasonably warm weather that melted most of the snow organizers had stockpiled.
After postponing the I-500 from its original dates in January, USCC officials looked into running the three-day race this year on Mille Lacs lake in central Minnesota or Lake of the Woods on the Canadian border, but problems with ice conditions, permits and other logistics killed those plans. “This season has been a big, big struggle … mostly because of the weather,” Strege said. “Obviously it’s made for some trying conditions. For sure it’s caused a few headaches.”
Despite that snow conditions are bad near Thief River Falls, Minn., the home base for the I-500, USCC will host a race February 25th in Oslo, Minn. Strege said snow conditions there are “fairly decent” and the 25-mile racetrack is laid out to include ditches, woods and about 11 miles on a river. “We’re pretty excited about the course, but we’re not going to make any promises we’re not going to see dirt.”
Oslo is about 30 miles north of Grand Forks, N.D.