12th Annual Mille Lacs Kite Crossing


Photo by Wee Wen Kok

Photo by Wee Wen Kok

The Kite Crossing on Mille Lacs was another success, even though the wind would only cooperate on Sunday. The race, scheduled for Saturday, took place Sunday morning. Saturday became a breezeless day of trainer kite flying, hammerschlaggen, Sociable Cider Werks sipping, and generally enjoying the sunshine.

MNAdventure team member Bryce got this drone footage on Saturday of the event site- you’ll notice all the kites are grounded but the sun is shining!

On Sunday morning everyone awakened to blowing winds (WOOHOO!) that came almost directly from the south- which meant the race was able to be an actual crossing of the lake- from east to west, 12.5 miles each way for a whopping 25 mile course. This year the race had around 60 or 70 participants over a wide variety of categories.

The race was made more challenging by the warm conditions, which provided super-sticky snow at the beginning of the competition and a layer of water over the ice at the end. As the day warmed to about 50 and the wind blew around 20, the ice was ever-changing. The course crossed three ice heaves (each of them twice- once on the way out and once on the way back), with more and more pooled water collecting there all the time. It’s doubtful anyone escaped the race completely dry.

Comments heard on the ice after the race:

“That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life”

“My legs! They BURN!”

“I can’t believe I finished”

Full race results can be found here, but let’s list the first-place winners:

Men’s Ski: Mike Kratochwill

Master’s Ski: Beveridge Brian

Women’s Ski: Chrissy Zobitz

Men’s Snowboard: Justin Specht

Master’s Snowboard: Todd Hanson

Women’s Snowboard: Vicki Hanson

Junior’s Snowboard: Peter Nierenhausen

Congrats to all the finishers! Twenty-five miles by kite in less than two hours is impressive! Check out more photos from the Crossing on the Facebook event page.

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