Here are some enthusiastic reviews of MACC. Read the view from an ex-pro football player, the view from Michigan's most successful racer in history, and views from two first-time racers.

New Racer says "Thanks!"

I'd like to give a huge THANKS everyone in the MACC organization for welocoming a new racer/skier with such open arms. It has been a true pleasure to meet so many people who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. Being a new racer and a new skier for that matter, I thought it was going to be very imtimidating doing this for the first time and didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I have either been involved with and/or raced street rods, hydroplane boats, motorcycles and mountain bikes and I must say that ski racing has been the most fun.

It's such a rush to fly/fall down a snow coverd hillside on a pair sticks strapped to my feet. Who would've thought that something so seemingly simple, could be so technicaly involved and complex and such a total thrill at the same time.

I'd only been on skis...maybe 7 or 8 times in my life before trying the Shumakers race camp at Mt. Brighton in February of 2004. I was instantly hooked! The training camps put on by Cris Cataldo, Matt Tucker and the rest of the Shumakers coaches/skiers has helped out a "total newbie" like me tremendously.

It has been an awesome season and a start of many, many more to come I hope.

I have tons to learn, there's so much to take in, my brain and body are on constant sensory input overload... and what fun it is. It seems like it's a constant never ending learning process.

It's kind of funny, before last year, I never thought that skiing let alone racing would be part of my lifestyle, now...I'm so glad it is.

Thanks again to everyone for welcoming a newbie into your circle!

Robert Michel

VAM # 748

After Pro Football... MACC

A nice email from Fitz, previously a pro football player:

I would like to start by saying that the MACC is one of the most well organized amateur sports leagues that I have ever seen. This is my first year racing and I am having a blast! I have been skiing for about five years and I have totally embraced and fell in love with the sport. In 2002, I took my first trip out west to Salt Lake City and that was it! I recall coming home and watching the Winter Olympics, the Alpine Skiing events in particular, and saying to myself "Wow...It sure would be fun to race". After being totally hooked on skiing and incorporating it into my lifestyle, I couldn't stop thinking about racing. After joining our local ski club (Jim Dandy) and meeting Conston "Romelle" Taylor, I found someone who was just as passionate about ski racing as I was about competition in general. I knew that he and I would get along great and that I would have the perfect road map to becoming a racer.

I have spent a large portion of my life being an athlete. I played college football at Central State University (Ohio) and went on to have brief stints in the NFL, CFL, Arena Football League and the MCFL. I was one of those guys who probably played a little too long due to the love of the game and "the journey". After my playing days were over, I have been in search of that one thing that could replace the excitement, competition and adrenaline rush that I received while playing football. It was never about the money (I never made that much) or the fans. It was always about the journey! The journey always comprised of the training, the pain, the learning, setting of goals and the friendships developed while socializing with people with common interests or a common goal.

Since competing in the MACC, my thirst for competition has been thoroughly quenched and I have found my new passion. Most people that I know can't understand why a 40 year old guy with more responsibilities than he cares to mention (ex-wives included) would drop thousands on new skis, not to mention the money and time involved in training twice a week along with additional training weekends at Boyne Mountain with PV Alpine. I try to explain it, but it's incredibly hard to find a sympathetic or understanding ear outside of the alpine racing community. I have purchased videos and read a book on the "Mental Aspects of Alpine Racing". Most people would think that I was mental! I keep telling myself that they just don't understand the journey.

I have tried to compact years of experience into one year and it has been challenging, but fun. I have always been one of those guys who would dive in headfirst and burn the boats on the other side of the river. This has been no different. Everything from the DNFs and DQs to the jokes about being "One Run Fitzpatrick" have been all part of my incredibly fun rookie year. The other racers in the league have been very helpful and incredibly nice.

I just wanted to extend a sincere thank you to the MACC. I just recently stopped having football dreams (missing the bus, forgetting my helmet, intercepting a game winning pass, etc.) four years ago and it was the end of a personal era. At that time, I was happy to be getting a little sleep at night. Well, that has all changed now! Unfortunately, I am now dreaming about staying low, hands out front, rolling my edges, angulation, looking ahead, a faster line, those darned gates... And yes...my handicap!

Thanks for giving a washed up athlete a new beginning.

Fitz, Bib 454

After the World Cup... MACC

This is an excerpt from olympian Cary Adgate in his on-line column.

If you had a previous life as a ski racer, you should consider giving it another go-around. The new skis have re-kindled my love (ok, obsession) for skiing. The feeling of linking perfect carves is now available to people with real jobs. When I think carving, I think speed - and then I think racing. This year I signed up for MACC (formerly MDSC) adult racing - held mostly on SuperBowl. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the racing. Great organization, fun people, top-notch course-setting, and, especially in the Elite classes, a very highly skilled group of competitors. If your racing experience is modest or non-existent, don't let that stop you from trying this out - they have a very efficient handicapping system to place you with appropriate competition on courses of appropriate difficulty. If you want to give it a try, there are two more races coming up: slalom on Friday, March 5th, and GS on Saturday, March 6th. You can ski as a guest for $10 per day. Racing is easier now - come and give it a try!


New Racer Review of MACC

I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow up in a skiing family. Most winter weekends were spent in northern Michigan with my parents and vacations were never south - always east or west. Skiing is something that I still enjoy as an adult and my wife has become an active skier. Although skiing has always provided a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, I have lacked a bit of enthusiasm for skiing over the past 5 or 6 years. Whenever I would express this lack of enthusiasm to my good friend Christopher Herrmann, he would repeatedly suggest that I try racing - I finally listened. Being that you are the Schussmeister's MACC race rep I wanted to let you know that it has been a long time since I have enjoyed a season of skiing as much as I have enjoyed this season. On January 10th, after my qualifying run and first GS ever, I was driving home feeling completely re-energized about skiing. It became apparent that there was so much room for improvement in my technique - improvement that would not only impact my performance on the race course but also increase my enjoyment when free skiing. For the first time, I found myself consciously thinking about things such as the entry and exit of turns, edge-to-edge transition, angulation, etc.

Along with feeling re-energized, I was overwhelmed with the willingness of other racers to offer insight and assistance. Although ski racing is an individual sport there is tremendous camaraderie within the group. The overall atmosphere (on and off the slopes) is a real tribute to the focus that the MACC and it's member clubs have placed on welcoming new skiers to the program. There are some true ambassadors for the sport of ski racing within the MACC.

It seems like the older you get the more difficult it is to find opportunities to feed your competitive soul. For some, it's the need to see how they measure up against their fellow competitors. For others, it's the need to see how much they can improve upon their previous results. The MACC provides an opportunity for both types of racer. I found the handicap system to be an excellent way of providing a fun and competitive environment for racers of all ability levels. My compliments go out the those who oversee the administration of that system.

I have raced sailboats during the summer for several years. One of the greatest appeals of sailboat racing is that you see competitors of all ages on the course - it's a sport that can capture a person for a lifetime. Ski racing has a similar appeal. I used to think of winter as the "off-season". I no longer have an "off-season" - how cool is that?

This winter I found myself feeling anxious to get to the slopes on every ski day, independent of whether I was racing or free skiing with family and friends. Quite honestly, it took my wife a bit of time to adjust to the alarm being set for 6:50am on Saturday mornings - rather robotically, I would get up and mumble "must check snow temp and select wax" (tuning is an art - I owe a thank you to those who set me up this winter).

Needless to say, the hook has been set and it's been set deep. Thank you for a fantastic season of skiing with the Schussmeister's and the MACC. I look forward to many more.

Matt Kato