It's fat vs. skinny for a first-of-its-kind race in the Northland

By KBJR News 1

January 11, 2014 Updated Jan 11, 2014 at 9:18 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A first of its kind winter race for the Northland, and possibly the world, pit fat against skinny Saturday... fat bikes and skinny skis, that is.

Over forty competitors – some on skis, some on the relatively new winter "fat–tire," or mountain bikes— gathered at the Boulder Lake Recreation Area outside Duluth Saturday.

Due to soft snow conditions, the fat–bikers were given a six minute head start over the skier team to complete the twenty–two kilometer race.

Officials looked at the finish times of the top ten bikers and skiers in order to decide the winning team and award prizes, which included a pair of cross–country skis, and brewhouse ale.

Even among trail skiers, fat–bikes are becoming increasingly popular in the Northland.

"I have tried the fat bike and actually found it to be a lot of fun. I thought it would be slow and clunky and heavy, but it's fun," laughed race director Tim Hagley, "so I can see why it's taking off as a sport."

After the race, skiers and bikers alike were treated to a free chili lunch courtesy of the Island Lake Inn.

Billy Wagness