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Heartland 200 zooms through the Northwoods this weekend

The Heartland 200 is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28-29. It’s jointly organized by COR PowerSports, the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and a local organizing committee.

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Enterprise file photo from 2022
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Cross-country snowmobile racing returns to Park Rapids this weekend.

The Heartland 200 is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28-29. It’s jointly organized by COR PowerSports, the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and a local organizing committee.

Gates open both days at 8 a.m., with races starting at 9 a.m. The start/finish line and pit area for racers is behind Salvage Depot on the east side of Park Rapids, off U.S. Hwy. 34.

Admission is $10 for adults, while children aged 12 and under are free. A portion of the proceeds go toward the event and to increase the purse.

The public can access the parking area and the start/finish line by entering at AmericInn and following posted signs.

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Spectators can also park safely along the route and view the action.

Technically challenging

Racers of all ages and skill will be competing.

The Heartland 200 features over 20 classes – including junior, pro, open, vintage and classic – offering many racers a chance to complete a single lap around the 125-mile course on Saturday and Sunday.

The course is full of wooded trails and ditches, making it a very technical course and significantly different than any other on the snowmobile racing circuit, according to COR PowerSports.

Junior 10-13 and Junior 10-13 girls classes complete a 40-mile loop Saturday and Sunday. The vintage class runs the same short loop on Saturday only.

The classic class competes on the full course on Sunday only.

All other classes will run the full course Saturday and Sunday, with a combined overall time.

COR Powersports racers are Minnesota United Snowmobile Association members and the sleds are registered with the state of Minnesota.

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The COR PowerSports circuit features seven races across Minnesota and Wisconsin this year, featuring a variety of different terrains (lakes, ditches, woods, etc.).

Community involvement

Since 2013, the Heartland 200 has been an annual race, a return of a historic race that ran in the Park Rapids area from 1972 through 1980.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Cor PowerSports and all of the racers for this year’s Heartland 200,” said Derek Ricke, president and CEO of the Chamber. “The race has really grown in popularity over the past ten years, both locally and among the circuit. The level of support and sponsorship from the business community hit a new level this year, and that’s a great indicator of the tremendous economic and community impact the race has on the area.”

Ricke added, “We really appreciate the incredible cooperation of the numerous landowners, city, county, snowmobile clubs, emergency personnel, and volunteers. The way everyone pulls together to host this event in a safe and responsible manner is another great showcase of our community.”

The city of Park Rapids, Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, Hubbard County First Responders, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Forest Riders Snowmobile Club and Nevis Trailblazers Snowmobile Club are involved in putting the event together, along with a large list of community sponsors and business sponsors.

Volunteers are needed as spotters, gate helpers and snow plowers. If interested, contact the Chamber at 218-732-4111. Volunteers will receive a free lunch and a “thank you” gift.

For a race route map or additional details, visit www.parkrapids.com.

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