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Cook County Snowmobile Club hosts 14th annual Fun Run

Snowmobile clubs across northern Minnesota are busy enjoying the winter conditions and hosting local events.

The Cook County Snowmobile Club recently wrapped up hosting Drag Races at Skyport Lodge on Jan. 21. Despite the undesirable slush conditions leading up to the races, Malorie Brazell, the event coordinator with the Cook County Snowmobile Club, said, “The drag race this year had an excellent turnout. We had the most racers in each class that we’ve had in a while.”

As one event finishes, there is little time to relax as the snowmobile club must prepare for the next winter event. And the annual event coming this weekend is a favorite among many within Cook County.

In its 14th year, the Fun Run is an event where participants snowmobile or drive to seven checkpoints and play games to earn points. The seven checkpoints for the 2023 Fun Run are Skyport Lodge, Trail Center, Poplar Haus, Big Bear Lodge, Hungry Jack Lodge, Gunflint Pines, and Gunflint Lodge. The individual with the most points at 5 pm on Saturday, Feb. 4, wins $500. The top ten winners will also win prizes.

Each year, the excitement and popularity of the annual event continue to grow. “We now, on average, see 200-250 participants each year,” Brazell said.

“It’s great to get a group of friends and family together to go ride our trail systems here in Cook County and get outside,” Brazell said. In addition, she said, “It is a great way to raise funds for our trail system and support our local businesses along the way.”

A new checkpoint addition to this year’s Fun Run is Big Bear Lodge. Brazell said the new owners, Chris and Allison Short, were interested in partaking in the event and created their own game for the participants to enjoy. “It will be fun having another stop to add in the mid-trail area,” Brazell said.

There are a few other changes to the Feb. 4 event. Registration typically starts on Saturday morning from 9 am to noon. However, this year, registration will open on Friday evening. In addition, Brazell said participants would have two locations to register this year, Hungry Jack Lodge and Skyport Lodge, to allow for more flexibility. Last but not least, there is no designated endpoint location this year. Instead, Brazell said that if participants turn in their scorecards by 5 pm on Saturday, Feb. 4, “they can enjoy their day and travel the trails at their own pace.”

The Cook County Snowmobile Club will announce the winners at each checkpoint and on Facebook at 6:30 pm on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Following the Fun Run, the snowmobile club hosts two more drag races and the annual Trout Derby. “We are also bringing some more family fun activities to the Trout Derby this year, as there used to be in years past,” Brazell said. The Trout Derby will be Saturday, Mar. 4, on Gunflint Lake.

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