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Event Details

Pepsi Challenge Cup 50K & 50K Classic - Great River Energy Rush Races 25K & 25K Classic - Giants Ridge 8K
Saturday, March 1, 2025 - 9:00 A.M. 
2025 Update
Registration forms are available for the March 1st, 2025, Pepsi Challenge races. 
We invite you to ski the Pepsi Challenge/Great River Energy/Giants Ridge Nordic Races on Saturday, March 1st, 2025, at beautiful Giants Ridge. We are in the planning stages for these 5 races – 50K, 25K, 8K – Skate & Classic. Our RunSignUp registration site with mail in registration form is updated and active now. Racecourses remain the same, while registration, bib pickup and the awards luncheon are now in The South Chalet at Giants Ridge. (The South Chalet is the small chalet before the Main Chalet.)
Please mark our event on your calendar – we look forward to seeing you! Any questions, please call 218-865-8072 and leave a message for Lisa. Thank you!

Experience the challenge!

East Range Cross Country Challenges, Inc. and our communities of Biwabik, Aurora, Hoyt Lakes and the Town of White, with the aid of Pepsi, Great River Energy, Giants Ridge, Honey Stinger, Rossignol, WDIO TV, Biwabik Area Civic Association, FITS® Socks, Rex Wax American Ski Marathon Series, Minnesota Power, Lakehead Constructors, Tour de Finn and Cold Snap Technology, wish to extend a warm welcome to all citizen cross-country skiers anticipating the skiing of the 39th Annual Pepsi Challenge Cup 50K/Great River Energy Rush 25K/Giants Ridge 8K . With the help of you, our skiing friends, we expect to make this year's event the best ever! So, come to Minnesota's beautiful Iron Range for the last celebration of the ski season and experience the "Challenge" and "Rush" with us. You'll be glad you did!
Giants Ridge, Biwabik, Minnesota is easy to find! Located on the Iron Range just three hours north of the Twin Cities, or just one hour north of Duluth on Highway 135. Registration is at the South Chalet at Giants Ridge only, approximately 5 miles east of Biwabik near the start of the races.
Office Location
Giants Ridge generously provides us office space, but the ERCCCI board and its volunteers still organize the race. Call Giants Ridge and ask for Lisa Weidemann or race headquarters. 1-800-688-7669 ext. 8072 or 218-865-8072 or email
An exciting course has been designed to provide a pleasant experience for skiers of all levels. All races are spectator friendly starting and ending at Giants Ridge in the Nordic Stadium in front of Timing Building. Races start with 1K of wide-open skiing (at least 6 across) before ascending ancient over burden mountains and descending into beautiful scenic wood lands. The 50K challenges the more daring skiers on the famous World Cup and Olympic training trails, before completion in the Nordic stadium in front of the Timing Building at Giants Ridge. The 8K race is perfect for beginners to intermediate and the course will lap through the Stadium twice. The entire racecourse is groomed to provide excellent conditions for both skaters and traditional skiers. Feed stations are located approximately every 8K stocked with Gatorade, Honey Stinger Gel and water. Trails and race distances are subject to change.
50K Criteria
For new skiers anticipating skiing The Pepsi Challenge race (50K Freestyle) for the first time here are some tips to help you decide if the race is for you.
1. It is called the Pepsi Challenge because it is a challenge. The course features an elevation gain of about 1000 feet per 25K loop with an exhilarating 2K downhill finish.
2. In order to finish this race before the cut-off times: You should be able to ski approximately for 4 hours straight. This will be about 5 to 5.5 minute per "K" (kilometer). You should be able to ski one kilometer in five minutes for 50 kilometers.
Pepsi Challenge 50K Classic and Great River Energy 25K Classic Races
The 50K and 25K Classic races start at 9:00 a.m., giving those who love to classic ski a chance to get out there on their own. This is a ski on your honor race and only the classic style will be acceptable -- no skating. When filling out the registration form for the 50K or 25K Classic races, be very careful that you mark which race you are entering.
2026 Birkie Qualifier-WWW.BIRKIE.ORG
Race finish times for the 25k & 50K Freestyle and Classic races are eligible for American Birkebeiner wave placement validation.
American Ski Marathon Series
The Pepsi Challenge is a member of the ASM Series. This series is North America's longest running and largest citizen's racing and touring series, featuring 17 premier ski marathons and winter festivals stretching from Vermont to Alaska.
Tour de Finn
We are excited to announce that this year’s Pepsi Challenge 25k Classic Race is part of the inaugural Tour de Finn Ski Series! This Minnesotan ski racing series is presented by Finn Sisu, features nine Midwest ski races from December – March, and aims to encourage community-building through consistent event participation. See full rules and team registration on the Tour website
Dec 8 - Nordic Opener Skadi's Chase 8k skate - Osseo, MN - Three River Park
Dec 15 - Skinny Santa Solstice Ski 16k skate - Elk River - Elk River HS Ski Team
Jan 5 - First Chance Ski Race 10k skate - Mora, MN - Vasaloppet USA (pending confirmation)
Jan 13 - Pre-Loppet 18k skate - Minneapolis, MN - Loppet Foundation
Jan 19 - River View Loppet 20k classic - Brule, WI - Brule XC Ski Club
Jan 27 - Marine O'Brien 12k classic - Marine on the St. Croix, MN - St. Croix Valley Ski Club
Feb 3 - City of Lakes Loppet 37k skate - Minneapolis, MN - Loppet Foundation
Feb 9 - Vasaloppet USA 42k classic - Mora, MN - Vasaloppet USA
March 1 - Pepsi Challenge Great River Energy Rush 25k classic - Biwabik, MN 
All entries must be on official registration forms and be accompanied by the appropriate fee listed below. Please note there is a discount structure if registrations are sent in before deadline dates. Entry fee includes free luncheon admission. No changes between the 50K, 25K and 8K races will be accepted after February 27, 2025.   Race registrations are not taken over the phone.
Pepsi Challenge Cup 50K & Great River Energy Rush 25K Races
Up to January 12th*                                 $75
January 13th thru February 21st*           $85
February 22nd thru Race Day*                 $95

*Youth rate 13-21yo 25K & 16-21yo 50K        $70
Giants Ridge 8K Race
Now thru Race Day            
18 years and under                                $40
Over 18 years old                                  $55

Guest luncheon tickets available only in advance by February 24th $15
US funds only. No Canadian Cash accepted.
Make checks payable to: ERCCCI.  (East Range Cross Country Challenges, Inc.) PO Box 505, Biwabik, MN  55708
No Credit cards.
9:00 am      25K & 50K Classic – Mass Start
9:30 am      50K Freestyle – Mass Start
9:40 am      25K Freestyle – Mass Start
9:50 am      8K Race Start

Race times, Rates and Distances subject to change
U.S. Funds only and No Credit Cards are accepted. No Refunds Allowed.  In person Registration in the South Chalet at Giants Ridge on Friday only!
Registration Location
BIB PICKUP Bibs and information packets will be available for pickup at the South Chalet at Giants Ridge on the lower level, Friday, February 28, 2025, from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 21, 2025, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Identification will be required for bib pickups.
General Information will be offered – it will be up to you to call or email these businesses and get the information that you need. All hotels/motels will be listed with Stay - Discover the Range ( – please check out that website for their general info.  
General Lodging Information
Look through our lodging page to find out about your lodging options, including information about
group lodging, bed and breakfast locations, and a list of local hotels.
Bus Service
No shuttle bus service will be available.
Baggage Tent
Clothing bags will be provided at the clothing tent and kept in front of The Lodge at Giants Ridge. Make sure you write your name and bib # on your clothing bag. There will be a fenced in area. You can pick up your bag after the race at that location. Look for the "Bag Drop" sign in the stadium start area.
Start Times & Finish Location
9:00 am                25K & 50K Classic – Mass Start
9:30 am                50K Freestyle – Mass Start
9:40 am                25K Freestyle – Mass Start
9:50 am                8K Race Start
All races start and finish in the stadium at Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort®.
Free participant luncheon will be served after the race in the South Chalet at Giants Ridge. Bring your lunch ticket. See Participant Luncheon for details.
No refunds for any reason – including race cancellation. Race course and times are subject to change.
Participant Luncheon
Participant Luncheon – 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – a complimentary lunch ticket per skier is included in the racer registration packet. Please bring your lunch ticket to luncheon at the Giants Ridge South Chalet. Lunch tickets for any friends and relatives can be purchased in advance only. Price per additional lunch tickets is $15.00, children 6 and under $5.00. You will be able to order additional tickets on your on-line or mail-in registration forms. February 24, 2025 is the cut-off date for ordering extra lunches. No additional lunch tickets will be available at Registration or on the day of the race.
No offsite Beverages containing alcohol are allowed in the South Chalet.
No awards will be given out before the race results have been confirmed. Please allow yourself time to patiently wait for your awards. If there are any protests or timing issues, no major awards will be given out until a majority of non-disputed results are available to Luncheon administrators.
Awards Ceremony South Chalet at Giants Ridge. Overall Champions are acknowledged as Top 3 Finishers are present at the Luncheon. Top 3 class prizes will be given as a majority of results are certified (undisputed), beginning with the 8K at approximately 12:00 PM. 
At the Luncheon – In order to keep the aisles clear, we ask that if you bring your ski bag into the South Chalet, to change your clothes, etc. – please take your bag out to your vehicle or put up against the walls so that they are not blocking or impeding the movement of the lunch crowd. We are not responsible for any lost items or ski bags. Make sure your ski equipment and bag make it to your vehicle. Overflow seating is available in the Main Chalet at Giants Ridge.
Awards & Eligibility
Top three overall finishers of each race will receive a prize. Class awards will be given to the top three (3) male and female finishers in each age division in the 50K, 25K and 8K races.
Class awards for 25K and 50K races will be FITS® socks. Class prizes for 8K race will be a Giants Ridge award.
Class Awards - Age Divisions
8K only: 9-11, 12-14, 15-18, 19-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75 & Over
25K:     13-14, 15-18, 19-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75 & Over
50K:     16-18, 19-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75 & Over
All 50K entrants must be 16 years of age or older as of March 1, 2025.
All 25K entrants must be 13 years of age or older. No exceptions on race ages.
Children under 18 years of age must have the application form signed by a parent or guardian.
Notice: All children under the age of 9 years must ski with an adult in the 8K race. Children skiing with a parent must be a paid registered skier and legally in the race. This race is not free and open to the public.
Calendar of events
Friday – February 28, 202
2:00 – 9:00 p.m.               Registration and bib pickup South Chalet at Giants Ridge, 6329 Wynne Creek Drive, Biwabik MN 55708
Saturday – March 1, 202
7:00 – 9:00 a.m.      Bib pick up only lower level at Giants Ridge South Chalet
You must register before 9:00 a.m.
9:00 am                25K & 50K Classic – Mass Start
9:30 am                50K Freestyle – Mass Start
9:40 am                25K Freestyle – Mass Start
9:50 am                8K Race Start
11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.    Participant Luncheon – See details above.
2:00 p.m.             Awards Ceremony – See details above.
All races start and finish in the stadium at Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort®.
No refunds for any reason – including race cancellation. Racecourse and times are subject to change.
Results will be posted at Giants Ridge at the following locations:
Our 25K and 50K races qualify for the Korte & American Birkebeiner Race next year.
You must check your time to make sure it is correct! There is a 30-minute protest period after the race. You must protest to the timing officials upstairs in the timing building. It is too late to protest at the luncheon.
If you do not finish the correct distance race that you registered for, report to official timer in the timing bldg.   For example: if you drop out of the 50K race, you must report to timing official upstairs in the timing building. (The volunteers outside cannot help you with this, you must go to the official timer directly.)
Additional Information
For more information and/or registration call or write:
Pepsi Challenge Cup Race Headquarters
P.O. Box 505
Biwabik, MN  55708-0505
Giants Ridge local (218) 865 8072
or call toll-free 1-800-688-7669 ext 8072
Contact Lisa Weidemann at
Fees and conditions
Please enclose proper fees, with the entry form and mail to the address above. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ALLOWED. U.S. FUNDS ONLY! MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO ERCCCI. CHARGE CARDS ARE NOT ACCEPTED


Downloadable copy of our Event Information Booklet.

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