Category Archives: American Birkebeiner

Wisconsin hopes for a white Christmas, plans to convert snowmobiles into personal watercraft.

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A brown Thanksgiving in Wisconsin this year. Snowmobiles? are you kidding?

What about Christmas?

Is the Birkebeiner in trouble again this winter?

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Alaska’s Iditarod dogsled race: like the Birkebeiner, threatened by climate change

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image of statue of Balto in Central Park
Though I love the outdoors and stories of how to survive nature’s tricks, count me as not being an Iditarod fan. While I know those dogs love to run, it is unfair to run them into the ground, on purpose. The heroic trip commemorated by the race, however, is a truly incredible story, well worth a trip to Wikipedia and a few minutes of your time. Learn about the lead dogs Balto and Togo, the risky short cut across the water, the lifesaving serum and all the rest.

Of interest, as the Itarod begins this weekend, is that there is little snow; reminiscent of the recent Birkebeiner ski race in Wisconsin, much of the trail is bare, and some parts of the race preliminaries have already been truncated. .

Given the tough trail conditions this year — hard-packed snow and bare ground — King said he expects a bumpy ride. That’s not a problem, he said.
“The Iditarod trail will never be easy,” King said.

Too little fresh snow shortened the ceremonial start to an 11-mile run ending in Anchorage. The restart, where the mushers get serious about racing, begins Sunday in Willow, about 50 miles northwest of Anchorage.

This year’s race carries a $795,000 purse for the top 30 finishers. The winner will get approximately $69,000 and a brand new pickup truck worth about $41,000. The mushers who finish out of the money will receive about $1,000 each to help with the cost of flying their dogs home.

You can follow the progress of the race here.
Good luck, you huskies.

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UPDATED noon Friday: no snowfall yet, but American Birkebeiner IS ON

Noon Friday: there seems to be, on the radar, a snow front approaching the area.
NOTICE FROM BIRKIE.COM:

Birkie 2007: The Race Is ON
23K Competitive Race for Elites & Non-Competitive for Other Skiers

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 23, 2007 – Birkie 2007 will be a 23-kilometer competitive race for the top 200 elite men and 50 elite women and an untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for the rest of field.

The timed race for elite Birkie skiers will launch at 10:20 a.m. at the Cable Union Airport Start Line and finish at Highway OO in Seeley with prize money awarded to the top 6 men and women.

The untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for remaining Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon skiers will start at Cable Union Airport between 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

An ‘open-track’ event is new to the American Birkebeiner but is common in European cross country ski races. In the Birkie ‘open track’ event, skiers can leave the start line at any time within a half-hour window for specified waves as follows:

Waves 1-3 – 10:45 a.m.
Waves 4-6 – 11:15 a.m.
Waves 7-10 and Prince Haakon skiers- 11:45 a.m.

“Skiers can show up with their friends in this window and leave together,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “This is the best option given the course conditions. We think the course will hold up to a small number of competitive racers and it is adequate for thousands of skiers participating in a low-key, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event. We will be advising caution on some downhills with the use of Ski Patrol members.”

In the ‘open-track’, non-competitive event, skiers will wear a transponder timing chip to confirm completion of their race, but no awards will be given. Credit will be given for completing the Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon. The non-competitive event will not affect wave placement, and future seeding will be based on Birkebeiner and Kortelopet times from 2004-2006.

Transponder timing chips will be handed out at Telemark Lodge on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. Bussing to Telemark Lodge will begin at 6 a.m.

Skiers can register for Birkie 2007 through 8 p.m. this evening at the Red Arrow Room at Telemark Lodge.

Thursday evening; the weather forecast here does not predict snow for Friday:

What is the forecast?

40% chance of snow on Friday with 70% chance of additional snowfall predicted after from birkie.com:

What is the course like?

Current conditions are poor. Wednesday’s 52-degree temps, sunshine and rain created bare spots. The trail is hard-packed with icy spots.
We need 3” of new snow to have a safe course and race.
A final race decision will be announced on Friday at 9 p.m. in the lobby at Telemark Lodge and posted on the Birkie website and sent to all skiers and media.

good luck you cheeseheads.

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American Birkebeiner: Friday noon: Race is on.

Birkie 2007: The Race Is ON
23K Competitive Race for Elites & Non-Competitive for Other Skiers

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 23, 2007 – Birkie 2007 will be a 23-kilometer competitive race for the top 200 elite men and 50 elite women and an untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for the rest of field.

The timed race for elite Birkie skiers will launch at 10:20 a.m. at the Cable Union Airport Start Line and finish at Highway OO in Seeley with prize money awarded to the top 6 men and women.

The untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for remaining Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon skiers will start at Cable Union Airport between 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

An ‘open-track’ event is new to the American Birkebeiner but is common in European cross country ski races. In the Birkie ‘open track’ event, skiers can leave the start line at any time within a half-hour window for specified waves as follows:

Waves 1-3 – 10:45 a.m.
Waves 4-6 – 11:15 a.m.
Waves 7-10 and Prince Haakon skiers- 11:45 a.m.

“Skiers can show up with their friends in this window and leave together,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “This is the best option given the course conditions. We think the course will hold up to a small number of competitive racers and it is adequate for thousands of skiers participating in a low-key, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event. We will be advising caution on some downhills with the use of Ski Patrol members.”

In the ‘open-track’, non-competitive event, skiers will wear a transponder timing chip to confirm completion of their race, but no awards will be given. Credit will be given for completing the Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon. The non-competitive event will not affect wave placement, and future seeding will be based on Birkebeiner and Kortelopet times from 2004-2006.

Transponder timing chips will be handed out at Telemark Lodge on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. Bussing to Telemark Lodge will begin at 6 a.m.

Skiers can register for Birkie 2007 through 8 p.m. this evening at the Red Arrow Room at Telemark Lodge.

Thursday evening; the weather forecast here does not predict snow for Friday:

What is the forecast?

40% chance of snow on Friday with 70% chance of additional snowfall predicted after from birkie.com:

What is the course like?

Current conditions are poor. Wednesday’s 52-degree temps, sunshine and rain created bare spots. The trail is hard-packed with icy spots.
We need 3” of new snow to have a safe course and race.
A final race decision will be announced on Friday at 9 p.m. in the lobby at Telemark Lodge and posted on the Birkie website and sent to all skiers and media.

good luck you cheeseheads.

At 5pm on Wednesday, the following was posted at the Birkie site:

Birkie Shortened to Highway OO

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 21, 2007 – American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation officials today determined that the American Birkebeiner 51 kilometer cross country ski race will be shortened to a 23 kilometer race with a finish at Highway OO in Seeley.

“52-degree temps and sunshine today damaged the existing base and opened fields beyond repair,” said Bill Pierce, President of the ABSF Board of Directors. “We determined it would be a better quality race to finish at OO.”

Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the ABSF, said there is a strong possibility that, if conditions do not change, there will be no classic tracks. He said other events will go on as scheduled.

Snow is being dumped onto Main Street for tomorrow’s Sons of Norway/Swiss Miss Barnebirkie, which starts on Lake Hayward and finishes on Main Street and Second. The Salomon Elite Sprints and Sunflour Citizen Sprints will also be held on Main Street on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The Prince Haakon 12K will take place at Telemark at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Worldloppet Passports will be satisfied with the 23 kilometer Birkie.

No snow is predicted until Sunday; good luck you cheeseheads….

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UPDATED: American Birkebeiner: Friday noon: race is on.

Cable WI, Feb 24. Cross country ski race. Heard of it?
Birkie 2007: The Race Is ON
23K Competitive Race for Elites & Non-Competitive for Other Skiers

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 23, 2007 – Birkie 2007 will be a 23-kilometer competitive race for the top 200 elite men and 50 elite women and an untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for the rest of field.

The timed race for elite Birkie skiers will launch at 10:20 a.m. at the Cable Union Airport Start Line and finish at Highway OO in Seeley with prize money awarded to the top 6 men and women.

The untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for remaining Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon skiers will start at Cable Union Airport between 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

An ‘open-track’ event is new to the American Birkebeiner but is common in European cross country ski races. In the Birkie ‘open track’ event, skiers can leave the start line at any time within a half-hour window for specified waves as follows:

Waves 1-3 – 10:45 a.m.
Waves 4-6 – 11:15 a.m.
Waves 7-10 and Prince Haakon skiers- 11:45 a.m.

“Skiers can show up with their friends in this window and leave together,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “This is the best option given the course conditions. We think the course will hold up to a small number of competitive racers and it is adequate for thousands of skiers participating in a low-key, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event. We will be advising caution on some downhills with the use of Ski Patrol members.”

In the ‘open-track’, non-competitive event, skiers will wear a transponder timing chip to confirm completion of their race, but no awards will be given. Credit will be given for completing the Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon. The non-competitive event will not affect wave placement, and future seeding will be based on Birkebeiner and Kortelopet times from 2004-2006.

Transponder timing chips will be handed out at Telemark Lodge on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. Bussing to Telemark Lodge will begin at 6 a.m.

Skiers can register for Birkie 2007 through 8 p.m. this evening at the Red Arrow Room at Telemark Lodge.

Thursday evening; the weather forecast here does not predict snow for Friday:

What is the forecast?

40% chance of snow on Friday with 70% chance of additional snowfall predicted after from birkie.com:

What is the course like?

Current conditions are poor. Wednesday’s 52-degree temps, sunshine and rain created bare spots. The trail is hard-packed with icy spots.
We need 3” of new snow to have a safe course and race.
A final race decision will be announced on Friday at 9 p.m. in the lobby at Telemark Lodge and posted on the Birkie website and sent to all skiers and media.

good luck you cheeseheads.

Birkie Shortened to Highway OO

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 21, 2007 – American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation officials today determined that the American Birkebeiner 51 kilometer cross country ski race will be shortened to a 23 kilometer race with a finish at Highway OO in Seeley.

“52-degree temps and sunshine today damaged the existing base and opened fields beyond repair,” said Bill Pierce, President of the ABSF Board of Directors. “We determined it would be a better quality race to finish at OO.”

Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the ABSF, said there is a strong possibility that, if conditions do not change, there will be no classic tracks. He said other events will go on as scheduled.

Snow is being dumped onto Main Street for tomorrow’s Sons of Norway/Swiss Miss Barnebirkie, which starts on Lake Hayward and finishes on Main Street and Second. The Salomon Elite Sprints and Sunflour Citizen Sprints will also be held on Main Street on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The Prince Haakon 12K will take place at Telemark at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Worldloppet Passports will be satisfied with the 23 kilometer Birkie.

On a positive note, no armadillos have yet been sighted in Wisconsin.
The Birkie site says:


That’s good news to the 9,000 skiers, 2,000 volunteers, 15,000 spectators and organizers of the 34th annual event that begins Thursday, Feb. 22 and culminates with the 51-kilometer Subaru American Birkebeiner and 23-kilometer Kortelopet sponsored by the State Bank of Drummond and Cable Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Registrations for the largest cross country ski race in North America are on pace with last year’s numbers (the fifth largest race in Birkie history).

“As of February 12, we have a total of 6,060 skiers registered for the 51K Subaru American Birkebeiner and 23K Kortelopet sponsored by State Bank of Drummond and Cable Chamber of Commerce,” Zuelsdorff said.

Disturbing: on 2/14 it appears that they have scrubbed the link to trail reports from individuals; these reports have not been very encouraging. It really sounds like they are gritting their teeth and trying to hide the bad news. Further, weather reports continue to indicate a significant thaw starting the Tuesday before the race. See this.

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