Incident and Emergency Plan

2020 Polar Roll Fat Bike Race – Incident and Emergency Plan

In planning the event, the Race Directors have considered a full spectrum of incidents and injuries that may occur. The nature of long distance fat bike races is such that competitors need to be self-supporting in remote areas. They will be instructed to carry a cell phone (they will be urged to keep the phone inside a jacket to maintain an operable battery) and to utilize 911 in case of an emergency. 

Date:  February 14-16th, 2020

Venue: Marquette County, Michigan. Long Race starts in downtown Marquette, Michigan and ends at the Ishpeming High School in Ishpeming, Michigan. Short Race will start and end at the Ishpeming High School. 

Both races will start in downtown Ishpeming from the Ishpeming High School and finish back at the high school. 

Saturday Schedule
7:50 AM                    Announcements, National Anthem
8:00 AM                    35-Mile Race Roll-out (Marquette)
8:00 AM                    15-Mile Race Roll-out (Ishpeming)
5:00 PM                    We’re hoping everyone is off the course!
7:00PM                     After Party 

Event Staff:
Event Directors: Todd Poquette, Ryan Grim
Volunteer Director: Tara Gluski
Aid-Station Coordinator:
Name: Tara Gluski
Road crossing/Safety Training:
Name: Ryan Grim
Event Timing/Registration
Name: Stacie Poquette 

Course Officials (responsibilities):

  1. Competitor, support crew and public safety communication.
  2. Course design and signage.
  3. Reinforcement of ROAD RULES
  4. To act as a source of information for public/competitor/support crews.
  5. Direct media inquiries to Event Director (Todd Poquette).

Allocation of Resources:

  1. First Aid Kits, blankets/additional clothing, heat at Aid Stations.
  2. Mobile phones with all race officials on racecourse.
  3. Race Number plates: allocated to participants before the event. 
  4. Timing: Superior Timing 

Search and Rescue: 

  1. Search and Rescue is aware of the event and will have staff on standby the weekend of the event. 
  2. All participants MUST take responsibility for the decision to participate in such a demanding, high exertion event. Portions of the course are remote and access is limited to snowmobile only. 
  3. All participants will be advised to contact 911 in the event of an emergency. 

Event and Traffic Management Signage
Polar Roll course signage, traffic management signage and safety signage will be strategically placed throughout the course route. Signage will be up the day prior to the event and removed the day following the event. All racers will be advised 

“Road Rules” apply – traffic will not stop for racers, bikes must yield to traffic

Competitor Briefing
Athletes will be briefed prior to the race start. 

Race brief will include course details; identify known hazards, race rules and emergency procedures.  In the event of a significant injury, participants are to use their phone to contact 911. In the event of no coverage they should relay information to the nearest course official or aid-station. 

Volunteer Briefing
Volunteers will be briefed prior to the race. Race brief will include course details; identify known course hazards, race rules and emergency procedures. In the event of a significant injury they will be advised to contact 911. Volunteers will also be advised to watch competitors as they pass through various check points for things such as potential frostbite or a racer who appears to be struggling with the elements. 

The sole person to communicate to the media will be the race director.

Clearly Identified checkpoints
Event volunteers will man clearly identified aid-stations. 

In the event of an accident or injury
All race participants will be notified at the race briefing that if an accident occurs, to contact 911.

Aid-stations will be established across the race route to provide fluids, food, heat and shelter if necessary for participants. Expect two aid station locations.

Ear buds/Audio devices
No audio equipment of any type should be used by any participant taking part in the Polar Roll. Participants found to have audio equipment at the race start will be asked to remove it or be disqualified from the race. 

Snowmobile Trail Etiquette and Safety
When coming into contact with snowmobiles please be respectful. If crossing a snowmobile trail yield the right of way.  BIKES MUST KEEP TO THE RIGHT.

Shuttle services will not be provided. 

Drop bags WILL be handled for fat bikers starting in Marquette. Bring your drop bag to the start, we’ll move it to the finish line at Ishpeming High School. Drop bags will be kept inside the school. 

Long snowshoe and short events will not require drop bags as you begin and end in the same location. 


  1. Cycling specific helmet. CPSC, ANSI or SNELL approved.
  2. Number plate attached to the front of the bike with timing chip on the back of the plate.
  3. 3. Fat Bike* (Tires 3.7” or wider)


  1. Ear buds or audio devices of any kind. Our racers will need to be dialed into their surroundings. For part of the race you will be riding on snowmobile trails. You need to know when a snowmobile is approaching you. Riders attempting to use ear buds, headphones etc. will be removed from the starting line.
  2. Tandem Fat Bikes.
  3. MTB Bikes or any bike with tires less than 3.7” wide.

*Anyone attempting to ride on what we deem to be non-fat bike equipment, a MTB bike or anything we cannot anticipate someone might try to use that would harm the overall experience of the race for other will be removed from the race at the starting line.


1. On the snow groomed single-track stay within the middle of the groomed surface for the best experience. The snow is both soft and deep to the immediate left and right of the groomed footprint.

2. If you find yourself walking and pushing your bike, walk on the LEFT and push your bike on the RIGHT.

3. If your bike has a mechanical breakdown and is not ride-able please walk your bike out to the nearest walk-out/mountain bike patrol station. If you are unsure which walk-out/mountain bike patrol station is the closest, please walk forward. Please avoid walking directly on the trail to avoid damaging the trail for other participants. When racers catch up to you please remove yourself and your entire bike from the trail footprint.

4. As snow is made from nature it is not possible to guarantee its solidity throughout an entire race event. Please keep an eye out for deteriorating trail conditions throughout the race. 

Passing: If a racer has caught up to you please stop and remove yourself from the trail in order to allow the faster cyclist passage. The approaching racer is to yell “On your RIGHT.” As a 20” snow groomed single-track trail does not allow appropriate space for passing, the slower racer is asked to respect this request.

In the event of an accident or injury
1. All race participants will be notified at the race briefing that if an accident occurs, to contact 911.

Weather Contingency Plan
With the general unpredictability of winter weather in the Upper Peninsula there will always be a chance the race may be adversely affected by an exceptional weather event. The race committee and grooming teams feel very strongly that aside from a particularly unusual weather event the Polar Roll should always be able to proceed as planned. The  


We race in whatever weather the day offers us.  Due to the belief we should allow you, the racer, to decide whether or not you race – registration fees will not be refunded. In the event operation of the race would put people at risk… we will find some way to take you on an adventure… Let’s hope it never comes to that. 

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

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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.