By Adelle Whitefoot
MARQUETTE – The Ore to Shore is in its 14th year and for one Negaunee teenager, this was his 14th year participating in it.
Chase Juntti, 14, started out riding in the Littlest Rock, a 50-yard race, when he was just a year old and has worked his way up through the longer races. This year, Juntti raced the 28-mile Soft Rock for the fourth time, finishing with a time of 1 hour, 54 minutes, 14 seconds – his best time yet, Juntti said.
“I’ve been trying to get in under two hours for a while now,” he said. “So it feels great to finally do that.”
Juntti said this year the course was really good, which helped him beat his previous personal record. But he said it would be a few years before he would race the 48-mile Hard Rock.
“I’ve been training a lot more than just for the 28-mile,” Juntti said. “I just need to train some more because (the Hard Rock) is quite a bit longer.”
Mountain biking is something that Juntti said he finds fun and loves. The Ore to Shore is one of the better races, Juntti said.
“Mountain biking is really fun to do and Ore to Shore is one of the more fun races to do,” he said. “It’s also not that hard to do. I would say it’s an intermediate race that’s really fun.”
This year, Chase Juntti’s dad Jeff Juntti rode with him during the Soft Rock.
“I usually race, so it was fun to ride with my kid this year,” Jeff Juntti said. “I did a few year back and he has improved significantly over the last few years.”
The Ore to Shore had more than 2,400 riders participating in six events Saturday, with 885 participants in the Soft Rock and 1,077 participants in the Hard Rock.