Karinen brothers best at Trails


COPPER HARBOR – The Karinen family from Painesdale has collectively achieved many things on the local mountain biking scene, but two teenage brothers both accomplished career firsts Sunday.

Pete Karinen, 17, was the overall winner in the 27-mile race at the Bell’s Beer Copper Harbor Trails Festival – his first win in a race of that length – while Oskar Karinen, 15, was the overall winner in the 17-mile race – his first overall win, after being the best in his age division several times.

“That’s really awesome that we both won,” said Pete, who crossed the finish line in Grant Township Park in a time of 1 hour, 50 minutes, 44 seconds.

Both brothers – and the other 257 participants in the two cross-country races – had to tackle wet, muddy, windy conditions Sunday on the already-technical Brockway Mountain-based trail system, and both bounced back from wipeouts.

Pete went into a corner too fast while leading during the first lap, a crash that temporarily dropped him to third. He eventually caught up and started pulling away with a group of three. One suffered a flat tire and Karinen pulled away in the last 2 miles.

Oskar wiped out in the first few miles of the 17-mile race, crashing on the bottom of “The Flow” trail and hanging over the bridge until another racer helped him back on the trail.

“I came up on the bridge, it was wet and slippery, my front wheel washed out and I just went down,” Oskar said. “I slammed my hip off the top of the bridge. … I thought my race was done.”

But, he rode through the pain, caught up to the leaders and adrenaline pushed him to a first-place finish in a time of 1:17:19.4.

“I really wanted to get a win out of today,” Oskar said.

The female winners Saturday have both had their share of winning before, one as a repeat winner in the short race, and another as a highly decorated Wisconsin racer making her first appearance at the Trails Festival.

Jen Barden of Wausau, Wis., won the 17-mile women’s race last year in 1:32:58.0, but, even in this year’s messy conditions, she improved on that with a first-place time of 1:24:39.4.

“It’s our most fun race of the whole year,” she said. “We look forward to it. The mud just made it more fun – a little more sketchy, but way more fun.”

Barden finished first among women despite falling three separate times on slippery roots. They just motivated her to push even harder, though.

The women’s 27-mile winner, Abby Strigel, nearly lost control on a few roots, but managed to stay upright, winning in a time of 2:00:50.6. The Madison, Wis., native is certainly no stranger to winning, having finished first in the Wisconsin Off Road Series about half a dozen times and winning this year’s Marquette Bike Jam.

“I’ve been racing for quite a long time and enjoying it, but I’ve never done this race before,” she said. “My friends do it every year, and I don’t know why it took me so long to get here, honestly. Really fun trails and it was worth every hour in the car.

“… It was amazing here. I wish I could move everything up to these trails and live here and ride these every day. They’re a lot more technical, longer climbs, longer descents than anything I get to ride on a daily basis. I appreciate them putting on an awesome festival, and I’m sorry I missed it every other year in the past.”

Paul Wagner from Pelican Lake, Wis., won the 27-mile race among single-speed racers, in which no females competed, while Sam Mowrer from Schofield, Wis., won the single-speed 17-mile event. Missy Whalen from Marquette was best among female 17-mile single-speeders.

In the 3-mile junior race, 12-year-old Lauren Lackman from Wausau, Wis., won, while Dollar Bay’s Matthew Rowe, 9, won the 1-mile junior event.

Full results are available on, and more information about the Trails Festival, which also included a Friday downhill race, Saturday Enduro races and dock jumping, and Sunday junior races and events in the park, can be found at

Men’s 27-mile (80 participants)

1. Pete Karinen, Painesdale, 1:50:44.0; 2. Tom Carpenter, Marquette, 1:52:45.6; 3. Todd McFadden, Duluth, Minn., 1:53:03.6; 4. Jan Roubal, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 1:55:46.6; 5. Greg Prodan, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 1:59:12.6; 6. Matthew Colligan, Marquette, 1:59:13.2; 7. Tristan Brown, Milwaukee, Wis., 1:59:16.6; 8. Scott Cole, Stevens Point, Wis., 1:59:22.5; 9. Chris Schotz, Gleason, Wis., 2:02:01.6; 10. Samuel Kilpela, St. Cloud, Minn., 2:02:10.3; 11. David Maclean, Ludington, Mich., 2:02:40.2; 12. Fletcher Arlen, Wausau, Wis., 2:03:19.2; 13. Collin Kytta, Negaunee, 2:03:49.2; 14. Scott Golomski, Milwaukee, 2:04:047.5; 15. Justin Hoffmeyer, Hancock, 2:04:12.5.

Women’s 27-mile (8 participants)

1. Abby Strigel, Madison, Wis., 2:00:50.6; 2. Cooper Dendel, Marquette, 2:07:44.1; 3. Diana McFadden, Duluth, Minn., 2:20:36.6; 4. Rachel Howard, Duluth, Minn., 2:29:51.7; 5. Lisa LaBar, Marquette, 2:32:21.9.

Men’s 17-mile (131 participants)

1. Oskar Karinen, Painesdale, 1:17:19.4; 2. Isaac Wendt, Rhinelander, Wis., 1:17:33.3; 3. Todd Tollefson, L’Anse, 1:17:35.3; 4. Chad Landowski, Lake Mills, Wis., 1:17:50.0; 5. Connor McColl, Mohawk, 1:20:22.1; 6. Gary Barden, Wausau, Wis., 1:21:17.0; 7. Tom Flicker, Minneapolis, Minn., 1:21:51.8; 8. Jeff Wolf, Marquette, 1:24:16.3; 9. Josh Menard, Negaunee, 1:24:39.7; 10. Andy Kienitz, Duluth, Minn., 1:26:19.0; 11. Braxton Hjelle, Rhinelander, Wis., 1:26:23.0; 12. Brad Streu, Ada, Mich., 1:26:26.8; 13. Rick Dwyer, Jefferson, Wis., 1:27:07.1; 14. Justin Engwis, Freeland, Mich., 1:28:10.3; 15. Mike Carpenter, Marquette, 1:28:14.2; 16. Jody Arlen, Wausau, Wis., 1:28:36.5; 17. Rich Wiita, hometown NA, 1:28:45.3; 18. Matthew Britton, East Jordan, Mich., 1:29:00.2; 19. John Bennett, Negaunee, 1:29:17.9; 20. Matthew Wiita, Calumet, 1:29:27.5.

Women’s 17-mile (20 participants)

1. Jen Barden, Wausau, Wis., 1:24:39.4; 2. Lindsey Kriete, Wauwatosa, Wis., 1:26:51.3; 3. Nicole Alexander, Marquette, 1:34:31.1; 4. Jennie Loney, Dubuque, Iowa, 1:34:43.3; 5. Pam Schmitt, Duluth, Minn., 1:37:52.4; 6. Michelle Brittnacher, Marquette, 1:37:54.6; 7. Lori Violetta, Marquette, 1:42:00.2; 8. Michelle LeVegne, Ada, Mich., 1:42:12.3; 9. Lianna Miller, Houghton, 1:43:13.6; 10. Erin Pirkela, Marquette, 1:43:24.8.