Winter Adventure

It’s race week and we’re ready, are you?

The trails are groomed, the course is set and the weather forecast looks great. Or is it? It’s hard to tell. We can get all 4 seasons in a single day up here. So you better be prepared for anything.

Special thanks to our title sponsors Salsa Cycles & 45NRTH

Schedule of Events


5:00-8:00PM Packet pickup at Westwood Mall


6:30-7:30AM Last-chance packet pick-up
8:00AM Races roll out
30-Mile Bike: Downtown Marquette
15-Mile Bike: Ishpeming High School
Snowshoe (both the 15 and 30 miles): Ishpeming High School

Important note: The long snowshoe event will do two laps of the short route. You’ll begin and end at Ishpeming High School. You’ll go through the finish line after your first lap and do it again.

7:00PM To maintain safety, we will pull racers from the course at 7:00pm
7:00PM After party opens/complimentary pizza from Domino’s
7:30PM Awards ceremony
8:00PM Double Trouble DJ’s entertainment begins


10:00AM Group Rides



We’re working with Trackleaders this year to track to track a few people. If you would like to connect with them and make your race available to family and friends, hit the link and fill out their form. If you have questions, please do not contact Polar Roll staff. Go too Trackleaders. We’re using beacons to keep track of a couple race leaders, a few in-between, and the sweep.
Trackleaders @Polar Roll

Snowmobile Trails and etiquette

If you’re in the long bike race you should use blinking red lights on the front and back of your bike, wear bright clothing, and exercise caution. Most of the snowmobilers we run into are great. Will you run into a jerk? Maybe. It’s no different for people who run into bikers. Every group has a couple nimrods representing em’ poorly. That being said, share the trail and enjoy the ride. It adds to the flavor and variety the Polar Roll offers. Multiple recon rides have been executed the past few weeks without incident.

  •  We work closely with the DNR and local MUPSA board to secure access to the snowmobile trail. They’ve been supporting our event since 2015. 
  •  Stay to the right.
  •  Respect other users – this includes fat bikers and snowmobilers. 
  •  We highly recommend flashing red lights on the front and back of your bike when riding the snowmobile trail.

Road Rules

Please pay attention to your road crossings, trail intersections, and more. Polar Roll is an adventure. Anything can happen. You will likely encounter and interact with other user groups. Imagine you’re out there all alone (which you might be) – and that you have to fend entirely for yourself (you do). In the event there is an emergency, dial 911.

The Courses

You are not required to download the course file for route navigation… but we want to remind you anything can happen out there. Signs get removed, or maybe it falls down. We can’t say a bear will eat it because they’re sleeping. The point is – things happen. Our course files have been tested multiple times by multiple people – they work. Each person completed the course proper without a single sign. If something happens on race-day and you get turned around or lost – don’t blame us. We’re giving you all the tools.

Long Course

Download the 30-mile GPX file
Some users and web browsers have issues with GPX files. If you're having issues call your techy friend who has done this before.

Short Course

Download the 15-mile GPX file
Some users and web browsers have issues with GPX files. If you're having issues call your techy friend who has done this before.

Polar Roll Gear

Our inventory of gear at packet pickup will be limited – as we warned everyone it would be prior to the event. For the best selection get there early! We’re working with a new cycling apparel vendor this year – Louis Garneau. Fit Kits will be available at packet pickup for every item currently being sold. The Louis Garneau rep will also be there to assist and answer your questions. The designs are dialed, pricing is great, and proceeds support 906.

Polar Roll Merchandise

Packet Pickup

There will be no early packet pickup.
Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Also the transfer deadline has passed. We will not do transfers or category changes at packet pickup. Don’t even ask.

Friday 5:00 – 8:00PM
Westwood Mall
3020 US 41 W
Marquette, MI 49855

Use the door on the south side (see map).
The northeast lot is not plowed. Park at the south lot.

Saturday 6:30-7:30AM
Last-chance packet pick-up at your event start area (important – there are two start lines: Marquette & Ishpeming)


Short bike race and both snowshoe races start at:

Ishpeming High School
319 E Division St
Ishpeming, MI 49849

We’ll have a race HQ inside the high school with a place to warm up and lick your wounds.


Long bike race starts in downtown Marquette and winds its way through the South Trails, a little bit of snowmobile trail, then hits the RAMBA-Land of the West End for a final kick in the pants.

Meet us by the Delft Theater marquee after you’ve fueled up with a hearty breakfast at:

Donker’s (will be open at 6:00AM selling coffee and breakfast)
139 W Washington St
Marquette, MI 49855

Drop bags that are left at the designated area will be transported to the finish line and left inside the Ishpeming High School.

Hugs & Bacon

The infamous Hugs & Bacon aid station is back for another year of encouragement and spicy beverages. This crew puts a ton of work into making your Polar Roll experience as memorable as possible, so give ’em a pat on the back when ya come through.

After Party

This year’s party is going to be one for the record books. We’re thrilled to announce that our host and Polar Roll sponsor Barrel + Beam will be the site of our after party. If you’ve ever had one of their farmhouse ales, or ridden with one of the crew on the trails, you know we’re in for a good time. Details to come.

Barrel + Beam
260 Northwoods Road
Marquette, MI 49855

7:00PM After party opens/complimentary pizza from Domino’s
7:30PM Awards ceremony
8:00PM Double Trouble DJs’ entertainment begins

Parking at Barrel & Beam will be “enhanced.” You’ve been warned.

BELT BUCKLES: They’re not easy to get. Ride fast. Guaranteed buckle for Top 3 Overall Men and Women. Hand-forged by Gordon Gearheart.
Top 3 Overall Men/Women
1ST: $200 / 2ND: $150 / 3RD: $50

Bear Medallions: Top 3 Overall Men and Women. Hand-forged by Gordon Gearheart.

BELT BUCKLES: Overall Male and Female winners. Hand-forged by Gordon Gearheart.
Bear Medallions: Male and Female 2nd and 3rd place. Hand-forged by Gordon Gearheart.

Sunday Adventure Rides

We want to promote the awesome trail groups and rides around Marquette County – so we invite you to pick a ride from the options below and hop on it.

Church Ride

10:00AM RAMBA Church Ride
Ishpeming, Michigan. Groups are generally available for riders of all abilities. Meet at Cognition Brewery. See their Facebook page for more information and updates.

North Trails

10:00AM NTN North Trails
The NTN ride starts at the Forestville polebarn.

Sponsor Deals

Some of our sponsors have cooked up special deals exclusive to Polar Roll event participants. We believe in these companies – so should you.

25% Off Carborocket
25% Off ERG Bars
15% Off BikeJackets
10% Off at Sports Rack

Local Intel

  • February in Marquette County is unpredictable – be prepared. 
  • This is an adventure. Rules of the road apply. Traffic will not stop for you. 
  • Air pressure. We can’t stress this enough. It can literally make or break your race and the race of everyone behind you. Air down to maximize traction, minimize damage, and preserve the trail. 
  • Snow depth off the groomed in surface is 3’ plus. Enjoy the swim!
  • If you get a mechanical, bonk or are crying? Text #IQUIT to the number on your race plate. 

It’s all about community.

We asked you to #adapt in 2020, and you did. Now we’re asking you to join us and #forge ahead. 2021 is about doing what you do best, making the most of what you have, and getting better every day.

While a lot of races out there are run by for-profit companies, that’s not the case for Marji Gesick, Polar Roll and The Crusher. All of our events are productions of the 906 Adventure Team, a 501(c)3 whose mission is to empower people to become the best version of themselves through outdoor adventure. We don’t have a large staff of people (two, to be exact) or significant overhead, and that enables us to donate a significant portion of race revenues in two ways:

Since 2015, we’ve given back more than $141,000 to the trail-builders of RAMBA, NTN, Sisu Dirt Crews, WinMan and the DCNT. We also support youth adventure programs in three communities and have plans for that number to grow in the near future.

In 2021 we’re building a learning management system to train 150+ volunteer Adventure Leaders, and have our eyes on the future: planning to grow from 500 youth served to thousands. Together with your continued support and a network of dedicated partners, we will connect kids with each other, their communities, and give them a healthy alternative to time spent on devices.