Snowmobiles. Racing. Bikinis. One of these doesn’t match. And that’s the fun part. This Northern Michigan snowmobile race is pretty darn cool.
On Saturday, February 22, Courtney Fender is hosting her second annual TNT’s Ride Like a Girl to Save The Girls Bikini Radar Run during East Jordan’s Sno-Blast festival.
The event works like this: Women (and men) wear bikinis on their snowmobiles (in the snow) and drag race for top speed (measured by radar). Fender started the event last year in honor of her grandmother, who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. The event drew eight riders (including two men) and raised $3,500. Fender hopes to raise $5,000 and draw twice as many racers at this year’s event.
“The funds stay locally for men and women going through breast cancer treatments,” Fender says. “Last year, Megan Pixley raised the most money with $1,000, and she also had the fastest speed with 77 mph.”
Snowmobile racing has been Fender’s fun for more than 10 years. She started out doing ice oval track racing, then moved on to drag racing. She races one of two sleds: a 2008 Yamaha Nytro or a 2015 Arctic Cat 1100 Turbo. And she’s usually just one of a handful of women at the start line.
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Fender, 27, is an ambassador for TNT Lady Sledders, a group of all females who are into powersports. Fender races under the name Twisted Princess Racing.
“I race primarily in Mancelona,” she says. “Last year I went to Wisconsin to race in a bikini radar run, and I had the second fastest speed of 99 mph. This year, my goal is to go 100 mph on my snowmobile, wearing a bikini and raising money for breast cancer!
“My grandmother is my inspiration and she’s in good spirits. My snowmobile racing scares her, but she’s always been one of my biggest supporters.”
The East Jordan Lioness Club will use the funds to provide gas cards for women and men going through breast cancer treatments.