The Jack 3

Riders from a youth race cross the finish line during the ninth annual Jack Helgren Memorial Race Saturday in Clear Lake.

CLEAR LAKE | The unseasonable temperatures haven’t been favorable for one of Clear Lake’s popular outdoor events.

On Tuesday, the organizers of the Jack Helgren Memorial Race announced the event would be postponed until Feb. 8-9 on the event's Facebook page.

“It’s just too dangerous,” said Gary McVicker, one of the event’s organizers, referring to the poor ice conditions. The event was originally slated for next weekend.

The two-day event, also known as “The Jack,” draws hundreds of individuals who ride, race and show their snowmobiles at Clear Lake State Park.

McVicker said because of the event’s growth in recent years, snowmobilers — and spectators — not only race but park on the lake’s ice, which isn’t in “good shape” because of the recent high temperatures and wind.

“The wind is doing as much damage as the warm weather and the rain,” he said. “We had decent ice on that end of the lake down by the state park, but not near enough.”

This is the second time within the past three years the event has been postponed due to the weather.

“This is not anything new. That’s why we have a backup date,” McVicker said. “Hopefully, conditions will change.”

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are forecast in the 30s with little, to no, snow next week, but the weeks after may mean something different for North Iowa.

“We can get along without the snow if we got ice, but it’d be great if we have snow,” he said.

The schedule will not change as a result of the date change.

The event — in its 10th year — was named after Jack Helgren, an area businessman, former snowmobile dealer and avid racer who died in 2009.

For more information about the event, visit www.thejackrace.com.

• Photos: The Jack 2018 at Clear Lake

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.


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