March 12, 2015. As this 2015 season of MACC racing concludes, I am drawn to reflect on the experience, the MACC community and our future. In normal circumstances, as an active racer, my perception of racing centers around my specific racing actions and the global view of the organization is separate from that. This year I was neither racing nor injured. For the first time in my life, I was an observer all season. That was a huge blessing for me because I was able to see and feel racing from a vantage point that would otherwise not have been possible.
Over the course of these five race weekends, I was privileged to watch each MACC racer many times and experience vicariously your runs, your wins, your struggles and your overall joy of racing. There are many commonalities. There are dissimilarities too that distinguish individuals. We appreciate both.
Racing with Equal Intentionality
I observed racers in every Group D to Open Elite. What I observed is that all MACC racers share the commonality of intentional focus on the race they are in much more than I had expected. That intensity of determination and drive is strikingly similar regardless of skiing ability.
I’d like to share my insights from this fresh new view.
Photos Credit: Keli Mazzenga, Dana Bloodworth,
Racing is a highly individual moment of being. When you are on the course – it’s just you. We all experience similar flutter in the stomach, quickened pulse and heightened awareness in the eyes as we move into the start. The sub-conscious begins to exclude outside stimuli. In that deafening silence our eyes rivet on the first few gates. When the starter says go – there is that moment where all is frozen. Then suddenly the body and mind spark into an irreversible commitment. The race is on. I saw it in your faces. I know it in your heart.
Enthusiasm for Each Other’s Race
Crossing the finish-line, you “throw’em sideways,” exit the finish coral, and rejoin those who raced before as the final judgment is announced by the clock-meisters. Then reflections begin. You chatter with others, watching and cheering the next racers on course. During and after; congratulations, hugs, condolences and words of support flow freely. Individuals unite to support each other. That’s pretty unique to this sport.
Celebrating Together is on the Rise
This year I have noticed changes in our ways of celebrating. For example; this winter, there were more people attending the awards ceremonies in the Snowflake. We stayed longer, interacted more and left to dinner in groups.
Photo Credit: Wayne Drier
I am excited to see the rapidly increasing use of the MACC Facebook page, to share and reflect real-time between racers, races and seasons.
Nichol’s Ski & Snowboard broke out of the standard Sponsor mold to create a hot-dog fest and day-long presence on Superbowl.
Mark Arthurs Palace-on-the-Mount was the site of Thom Halesy’s first annual retirement from racing announcement. Rumors have it the event was sponsored by Bud Light and Tylenol.
Toledo Ski Club’s All-MACC gala was an Awesome Evening in Sub-Zero weather. In the process the evening produced a number of new guest racers the next day.
Kathy Bauer invited the MACC World into her home for another wonder-filled winter evening of fun, friends and food. Thank you Kathy, Ginnie, Renee, Mike, Jackie and all who created that evening. MACC is more than just world-class racing. Much more.
2015 held amazing accomplishments -
- Sherri Glas fought hard and retained the top spot wearing the black-bib as the fastest woman in MACC. Sherri extends her dynasty for yet another year.
- Drew Hilger earned the new top-spot Male speed-star status by upsetting the perennial King; Kermit Anderson. Next year Drew will wear the men’s black-bib as the fastest man in MACC.
- Roma Anderson, Shayanne Glas, Nick Chiappetta, TJ Graham, Carly Arthurs, Matt Benivegna and Owen LaPlante led a new edge of young racers in 2015, making their presence felt here in the Michigan Alpine Competition Council and soon, the world.
- Keli Mazzenga, Dana Bloodworth, Ryan Perlmutter, Zach Jablonski, Alex Carrico, Kaitlen Aitken are stepping into MACC in new and exciting ways of contributing to make MACC fun for the next generation.
- Matt Benivegna earned a berth in CUSSA to compete in the 2015 U-14 Junior Nationals. GO MATT!!!!
- Joe Pioche improved his handicap this year by an astounding 27.4 points taking top honors.
- The Skiwi’s clean sweep of the Team Competition by taking the Slalom, Giant Slalom and Overall writes new history as the 9th wonder of the world. Similarly, the Renegades rose to second in Slalom and Overall.
- MACC welcomed more than twelve new racers this year and several racers returning after a period of absence. Over fifty-two guest races were held in 2015. Four of those guests converted to full memberships. Three or four more said they planned to join next year.
- MACC unveiled 2015 a new Logo and as a result, a fresh new look and energy. Thank you Debi Koltoniak. And a huge change in Race Bib styling, thanks to Alex Carrico!
Long standing grudge-matches were resolved, new ones started. New friends are created and old friendships were nurtured. It was a short season, but we came together to be together. Now that is awesome!
You can truly celebrate an outstanding race season. Whether you won, lost, made progress . . . or not, we all had fun and we all enjoyed your participation. Thank you for a great season. . . .
NEXT YEAR? . . . Bring a friend!!!
MACC sends out newletters during the race season with updates about coming events. Here are links to recent newsletters.
(Former) President's Corner
MACC president Scott Pyles has raced his entire life, including the US Ski Team, working his way up to MACC.
May 6, 2016. Review of 2016 and thanks to those essential to MACC.
March 12, 2015. Observations of MACC when you can't race.
November 12, 2014. Where were we 52 years ago, and where are we now?
April 21, 2014. Scott's story of how he was introduced to MACC, told at the 2014 Marks Banquet.