Dirt bike enthusiasts will get their chance to test their trail racing skills this weekend, September 11th and 12th, at the 15th Annual Peterson Coulee Hare Scramble Off-Road Motorcycle races. The races are held in the coulee on the Peterson family farm property between Langdon and Walhalla. Called “North Dakota’s Last Man Standing” for its challenging terrain, the event has been providing riders with an exciting trail competition for the past 14 years, even in 2020.
“We held the Scramble last year, and I’m glad we did,” said Randy Bata, one of the race organizers. “It turned out to be a really fun day.”
The event is a huge draw, attracting riders from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan - depending on the international border crossings this year. Anywhere from 95 to 135 riders have come to the Peterson Coulee for the Scramble in prior years.
A hare scramble is a form of off-road motorcycle racing on tight trails through wooded, rugged terrain designed to test the riders’ skills and endurance. Races vary in distance and time as the riders complete multiple laps through obstacles such as creek beds, logs, hills, mud, rocks, and ruts.
Saturday will kick off at 4:00 p.m. with a team race for charity. There is a $10 entry fee, and you draw names for partners. Each partner will run one lap. Proceeds from this race will go to the Langdon Ambulance, Langdon Search & Rescue, and other local organizations. The Saturday run is also a way for the riders to see the course prior to the Sunday races. After the Saturday race, many will hang out, grill, and visit amongst other riders and their families. Camping is available Saturday night on the Peterson farm property.
Registration for the Sunday races starts at 7 a.m. and is open until 30 minutes before the race for that class. Riders' meetings are held 15 minutes prior to each race.
• Pee wee (4-6 years)
• Kids (11 years and under)
• Junior B (under 15 years, 85 cc – 230 cc)
• Junior A (under 17 years, 85 cc and up)
• Women (any age, any bike, beginner)
• Advanced women (any age, any bike, expert and intermediate)
• Open A (any age, any bike, expert)
• Open B (any age, any bike, intermediate)
• Open C (any age, any bike, beginner)
• Vet A (35 years and up, expert)
• Vet B (35 years and up, intermediate)
• Vet C (35 years and up, any bike, beginner)
• Masters (35 years and up, expert and intermediate)
• Oldtimers (50 years and up, any skill)
• Double A Pro (any bike, any age)
The schedule on Sunday:
9:00 a.m. races, entry fee $25, Kids, Junior B, and Women.
10:15 a.m. race, entry fee $10, A ½ hour race for Pee Wee.
11:00 a.m. races, entry fee $45, Open C, Vet C, Masters, Junior A, Oldtimers Class, and Advanced women.
1:00 p.m. races, entry fee $45, Double A Pro, Open A, Vet A, Open B, and Vet B.
The 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. races are one and two hours long and are run on the full 7-mile loop. Riders will complete as many loops as they can in their allotted time. This year it will be run in the opposite direction as previous years. The organizers add a few new challenges every year. Those changes make it interesting and bring people back year after year.
There will be cash payouts to the top 5 overall riders. The amounts are determined after all riders are registered.
The gate fee is $5. Spectators can walk down to the bottom of the coulee to watch the race and take in the beautiful scenery. There will also be concessions and T-shirts for sale.
“I’d like to thank each and every one of our sponsors, Langdon Ambulance, Langdon Search and Rescue, the Peterson family, and all of our past racers that make this event happen,” said Bata. “It takes a lot of people and sponsors to put on an event like this.”
Ricky Peterson; Dawn and Ema Blank; Greg, Deb and Bailey Goschke; Janelle, Randy, Lexi and Raquel Bata; Ben Girodat; Dave and Carol Girodat; Chad, Jana, Alison and Adley Gudmundson; and a number of others help on race day and throughout the year.
If you have further questions about the upcoming weekend, visit the Peterson Coulee Hare Scramble Facebook page or contact Randy Bata at 701-256-4037, Rick Peterson at 701-741-5056, or Greg Goschke at 218-773-0504. Directions to the farm from Langdon: travel 9 miles north on Highway 1, 8 miles east on Highway 55, and then one mile south. From Walhalla, travel 13 miles west on Highway 55, then one mile south.
“This is really a world-class type of event in our own backyard,” said Bata. “It’s interesting and challenging and in a beautiful location. It’s fun to be a spectator, and I invite everyone to come out and watch.”