Weather Forces Cancellation Of X-C I-500 Snowmobile Race

Zach Herfindahl XC I-500
Zach Herfindahl’s team posted this on social media after he won his fifth overall cross-country I-500 snowmobile race in 2023. He’ll have to wait another year to defend his crown.

The feeble nature of December and January weather this season just claimed a big victim within the snowmobile world. The high-profile I-500 cross-country race has been cancelled.

     The announcement comes on the heels of other major cancellations in various aspects of the sport. From high-output drag/speed events and oval races that depend on quality ice to charity rides that require miles of snow-covered trails, it’s been one cancellation after another.

     High-mile cross-country races require both – snow and ice. Over the years, sometimes there have been late adjustments for the cross-country I-500, with a little more lake- and river-running some years and a little more on land on other years. This year both are challenging.   

     Now operated as the Goodridge-Grygla I-500, the sanctioning Cor PowerSports Race Series announced Monday, January 22, that the 2024 race is being cancelled. It was originally scheduled for February 11-12.

     In making the announcement on social media, Cor officials said they work with local clubs in Northwestern Minnesota to make the event happen. Together the clubs and Cor decided it wasn’t possible this year.

     “When it comes to making decisions on the event, we have to not only look at this year’s event but also the future for the trail system and the relationship with these groups and individuals for gaining access for races,” Cor PowerSports posted on its Facebook page. “Looking at the current conditions in the region along with the extended range forecast there is unfortunately nothing positive in the long range for cold temperatures or snow forecasted.

     “Decisions that we have to make do not come easily. But at the end of the day, we need to do what is best for all the parties involved, so as the clubs met tonight the vote was to cancel the 2024 Goodridge – Grygla I-500 due to conditions,” Cor’s post continued.

     At this point, the Cor Powersports has pushed the delayed Heartland 200 snowmobile race – originally planned for this coming weekend (January 27-28) – into the original dates of the Goodridge/Grygla I-500 event.  

The cross-country I-500 has a long history going all the way back to 1966. It has been run by various groups and sanctioning bodies over the years. Arctic Cat racer Zach Herfindahl currently is on a heater, winning four in a row and five of the last six. He’ll have to wait another year, though, to extend his streak. Check out the full winners list here.

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