April 21, 2014. If you were at the Mark's banquet, then you heard a moving testimonial about MACC from someone who's raced for 65 years, including the US Ski Team. Of course, this is our current MACC president, Scott Pyles. Here's a written version from Scott:
A few people have requested that I share my comments from my address at the 2014 MACC year end banquet. I think I opened the banquet welcome address by saying; “we are here to celebrate a successful 2014 season, every one skied well and we all had fun.” Then continued…
“As I thought about this season, I have to reflect to you some of my observations. For me this season marks my 10th season racing MACC. It marks also my first major injury in 65 years of ski racing. And it is my first year in the leadership position of MACC.
In my role this year, I have gained even deeper appreciation of the people, the strength, diversity and the organic health of MACC as an organization. Everyone working together to make each race happen is a beautiful system. It is a system created by the intentionality, the structure, the individual engagement in a commitment to a community effort. It is truly a deep honor to be a member of MACC.
My awareness and appreciation for this community, the individuals, the effective system, history and tradition has grown stronger over my 10 years here.
I remember the contrast of my first MACC season in 2004. I was coming from the paradigm of 5 decades of ski racing in the U.S.S.A. organization, juniors, to college, to U.S. Team, then later to the New England Masters organization. In that system, the expectation is that races are organized by others. One races in 5 year increment age groups only. You sign up to race each race individually, pay your entry fee, and buy your ticket at a different ski area each week. You race your race. You go home.
The race fees for USSA Masters racing included my $120 race license and approximately $200 race fees, tickets each weekend. We raced every weekend – so the annual racing & training season was about $2400. I didn’t think anything about it. That’s the way it’s always been. That was my expectation.
I moved to Michigan in September, 2003. I checked the USSA website for the USSA Michigan Masters. Mid-West Masters were listed. The race schedule was mostly in Afton Alps, Buck Hill Minnesota. I was stuck. Then someone at the Ski Haus in Rochester heard me grousing about no Masters skiing in Michigan, and introduced me to the existence of M.A.C.C. I Googled it. When I found maccracing.org, I downloaded my application and signed up.
That first season of 2004, I flew back to New England to race on off-weekends. I told my friends in New England about MACC racing – “You can’t believe this, the competition is top quality, FIS style good courses. We race in our ability groups, not age. And we all work every job – the organization runs its own races. It’s awesome!”
It was and still is awesome for me to have the opportunity to work the races and be a part of the operation as well as a ski racer. I quickly gained an appreciation for that, for the system, for the processes called MACC. As I got to know more of the people, the more I appreciated the depth of community that had so openly welcomed me into the ranks. Together it gave me a much richer, deeper connection to my actual ski-racing experience.
The strength of MACC is the individual members. It’s YOU! You are each awesome and I respect and admire you. Whether you are just starting, or as some I know, celebrating their 51st MACC racing season this year, I respect you and admire you for being the strength and character of this community.
MACC is something special, I’m telling you. What you consider as “Normal,” is very unique in the world and very special. Cherish and build it. Encourage others that they will be welcomed into an awesome community. MACC racing is a community in which their skiing will flourish and MACC will flourish with their participation.
I truly say a heartfelt thank you.”
MACC Annual Awards Banquet, Boyne Mountain, Mi, March 9, 2014
MACC sends out newletters during the race season with updates about coming events. Here are links to recent newsletters.
(Former) President's Corner
MACC president Scott Pyles has raced his entire life, including the US Ski Team, working his way up to MACC.
May 6, 2016. Review of 2016 and thanks to those essential to MACC.
March 12, 2015. Observations of MACC when you can't race.
November 12, 2014. Where were we 52 years ago, and where are we now?
April 21, 2014. Scott's story of how he was introduced to MACC, told at the 2014 Marks Banquet.