2017 Newsletter #9


Short's Brewing Company 41st North American Vasa Festival of Races 

Vasa Newsletter # 9        February 17, 2017     

Haley's Comments:

Vasa Nation: Another Vasa for the history books, folks. Was it as good for you as it was for me?                     Well, make sure you let us know by taking a couple of minutes to complete our survey:

Vasa Survey 2017

As you answer the survey questions, consider the North American Vasa's goal as an organization as set forth in our mission statement:

"...to promote the sport of cross-country skiing in Northwest Lower Michigan through VASA ski events. Those events shall be well organized, economical, fun and community oriented for all ages and abilities."

The NAV Board is comprised of 13 individuals from the community who are primarily skiers and cyclists, ranging in age from 38 to, well, old. We meet year-round and will start planning Vasa 2018 at our next meeting March 6, 2017. So, let us know how we can improve. Skip the sarcasm and the snark, just some critical thinking would be helpful. Thanks. Ignoring all security protocol, I have included the names of our board members down below so that you can share your thoughts with them off the record, if you wish.

We all know that Nordic skiing keeps you young, right? Well, how about Marvin Stevenson of Rochester Hills, MI who was 1st in his age group (80-99) in Saturday's 11 km freestyle race with a time of 2:20:30? He contacted us later and said he was disappointed that the awards ceremony was over with by the time he got to the event tent - blaming himself ("If I had just skied a little faster..."). In Sunday's 6 km classic race, Marvin wound up in the Tour wave by mistake and finished in about 57 minutes (which would have put him 1st in his age group).

We will see that Marvin gets what is coming to him: an engraved medal and a waiver for the 6km classic in Vasa 2018. I don't know about you, Vasa Nation, but I am getting sick and tired of these darn ringers coming up here and taking home all the hardware. What ever happened to the 80-year-old grandpa sitting around waiting for Meals on Wheels?? First in his age group? Hell, I'd be happy if I can make it to his age group. Congratulations, Marvin.  

 Vasa Nation, how good do you think you really look while skiing or fat biking out there in the wild, snot dripping all over your lycra, your hat at half mast, and your tights riding up? Well, Bunkie, you may look better than you think. Roger and Ryan Hagerman were our official photographers for the weekend. Their professional photos can be viewed on their Facebook page and can be purchased by contacting Roger at hagerman.roger@gmail.com or 231-499-9879. For $20, he will send you all your photos on a CD. Just give him your name and bib number. Narcissism is all the rage now, so DO THIS!

Gussie Peterson & Nancy Briggs (Board Members) 

"231 Local" was our vendor for the cool "Vasa On Track" tee shirts that you may have purchased. Due to equipment problems some shirts may have printing that fades or runs after laundering. No worries. If you have a defective shirt contact "231 Local" at Sales@apexscreenprints.com. They will replace and ship out new shirts free of charge. "231 Local" apologizes for the hassle!

Many thanks to the special efforts of 5 guys who did much of the physical labor setting up and tearing down the stadium at Timber Ridge. We appreciate that Sheriff Tom Bensley allowed a jail crew from the county jail to help out. They helped install and remove the floor in the event tent and then tore down the metal fencing in the start/finish area after the races.They put in a lot of hours and never complained. So, let's acknowledge their hard work. (BTW, they assured me that they would like to come back next year and volunteer - but on their own terms and in their own clothes.)



Before I sign off, Vasa Nation, (and I swear this is my last newsletter), I want to share with you a couple of Vasa moments that cracked me up this last weekend:

When I asked Carole Brumbaugh how her classic race went for her, she said it was awesome, crediting her husband, Ernie, for the outstanding waxing job. Ernie just smiled and said, "Good thing the wax held. That will make for a shorter ride back to Grand Rapids." Duly noted, my man.

Yours truly was interviewed by one of the local TV stations, the young reporter throwing out all the usual softball interrogatories, until this one regarding the number of race registrations: "Do you think the travel ban has affected your numbers this year?" I thought, what would Steven Colbert do with this one, so I replied: "Thanks to those so-called judges of the Ninth Circuit, the Nordic ski racers from Yemen and Syria are probably on their way as we speak." The reporter later informed me that she had been asking me a serious question. Probably the last time she will do that.

Until next year, Vasa Nation, keep all those cards and letters coming in. And let's roll this out again next year. Special thanks to my co-president Gussie Peterson, and Doug Dowdy, the best race director this side of the Boardman River. 

That's all I have, Vasa Nation.  

Mike Haley, President, North American Vasa


Vasa Board of Directors

Nancy Briggs

Jim Monroe 

John Roe 

Jim Heffner 

Kristin Rylands 

Bud Huber 

 John Failor 

 Mike Haley 

 John Pflughoeft 

 Eric Jean 

 Mark Esper 

 Gussie Peterson 

Pete LaPlaca 




Race Director: 

Doug Dowdy 


George Kuhn