By KATIE PERTTUNEN
Bessemer — Saturday was the Western Upper Peninsula Trail Association’s Inaugural Mud Run in Bessemer behind Stempihar’s, featuring two big mud pits and two six-foot high hills for all-terrain vehicles to traverse.
Clubs all over the Upper Peninsula are organizing to get the trails connected from Ironwood all the way to Copper Harbor and Sault St. Marie, said Skip Schulz, president of the U.P.’s Off-Road Vehicle Trail Association.
He testified at Michigan State Senate’s Natural Resources Committee on Thursday to encourage Senate Bill 50, to aid in that goal. A comparable bill in the House passed committee, and once the Senate passes it, it will go to Gov. Rick Snyder, Schultz said.
WUPTA has 75 members, and the race had 13 sponsors, said Ross Kolesar, president. “We’re just doing this for the community,” he said.
In the 700 class, Ryan Shirkey took first place.
In the 500-650 class Doug Nor won.
In the 291 class, Mark Suvanto took first.
The ORVs raced the clock, with Darren Jarvenpaa taking first at 12 seconds and Mark Switzer bogging down in the first pit.
The event drew a crowd of around 100 people gathered to enjoy watching the mud runners compete in some dirty fun.