Press Releases

2011 Press Release


APRIL 11, 2011

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – This Cinco de Mayo, 850 die-hard bikers will not only launch northern Michigan's mountain bike race season, they will also check off this significant feat: raising more than $100,000 for Michigan's only nonprofit ski hill.

The third annual Mud, Sweat, and Beers Fat Tire Fest at Mt. Holiday, a multi-race mountain bike event benefitting the nonprofit ski area, sold out in early March, bringing the net proceeds raised to more than $100,000. Organizers attribute the sell-out to word of mouth and high demand for family-friendly events in Traverse City.

“We couldn’t be happier with the turnout,” said co-director Jim Kalajian, who along with a group of interested locals organized the four-race event. “It speaks volumes about the support for Mt. Holiday and the widespread interest in fun family events like this one.”

Co-sponsored by McLain Cycle and Fitness and Right Brain Brewery, MSB also funnels money to several volunteer groups like the Ski Patrol, area schools and bands, and the Mt. Holiday Race Team for helping with the event.

"Mud, Sweat, and Beers is an awesome way to showcase everything Mt. Holiday offers to the community as well as giving us an opportunity to give back to key volunteer groups," said Mt. Holiday board president Marc Frick. "It is a true win-win and a testament to the power of a small community coming together for a great cause."

The race, which features four loops - the 20-mile “Stout”, the 10-mile “Pale Ale”, the three-mile "Ginger Ale" and the one-mile kids only “Root Beer" - starts riders at the base of Mt. Holiday, running through a high-energy neighborhood crowd, through private land and onto the Vasa trail system. Riders end the race navigating a challenging downhill slalom course into a mud pit finish.

Along with the traditional shotgun start and Star Spangled Banner anthem, a Coast Guard helicopter flyover will signal to the first wave of riders that it’s go time, Kalajian said.

“The Coast Guard families are huge supporters of the ski hill and the flyover is one of the many special things we’ll be offering our participants and their families that day,” he said. “We’ll even have a special muddy finish for those who need to get dirtier, and the food will all be cooked on site. It will be a blast.”

Although the Stout and Pale Ale races are sold out, there are still many slots available in the three-mile Ginger Ale and one-mile Root Beer loops. Both events can be entered online or on the day of the race, said Kalajian. For more information about the race, which begins at 9 am on Saturday, May 5, visit

Mud, Sweat, and Beers Fat Tire Fest is a not-for-profit event that benefits the non-profit Mt. Holiday Ski and Recreation Area as well as volunteer groups that help run the event. The event is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, May 5 with the Star Spangled Banner and a Coast Guard helicopter flyover. For more information visit