May 2008
                                   Volume 5 - Issue 6
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2008 American Birkebeiner Trail Run, Relay & Trek
Sept. 20, 2008

The 2008 American Birkebeiner Trail Run includes you choice of:
  • 26.2 mile Marathon Relay
  • Individual 13.1 mile Half Marathon
  • 5K Fun Run/Wlak
  • NEW 21K Birkie Trail Trek
Learn more visit

Mark your calendars for the 36th American Birkebeiner
® from Feb. 19-21, 2009!

The 2009 events include the 50K Birkie Free Technique, Subaru 53K Birkie Classic, 23K Kortelopet Free Technique and Classic races sponsored by the State Bank of Drummond and Cable Chamber of Commerce.

Birkie 2009 also features shorter races, events and festivities for:

  • men, women, teens and kids
  • families
  • the super fit
  • the super enthusiastic
  • those vowing to get in shape
  • those wanting pure and simple recreation
  • those wanting to meet like-minded fitness buffs
  • those wanting challenge, excitement and fun
  • those wanting to support friends, family and skiers from around the world!

From the Barnebirkie to the Birkebeiner...Take the Challenge, Ski the Adventure, Live the Birkie!

Find out more at
or call us at 715.634.5025. We're eager to hear from you!

The Birkie®:
36 Years of Inspiring Skiers
to Live Fit, Healthy Lives!

"Tony Wise asked me to design a good trail system at Telemark. I spent 14 days there and laid out trails similar to the Vasalopet trails in Sweden. Later, Marty Hall added more hills. From the point of view of competitive skiers, it is a very good course."

~ Sven Wiik, Nordic guru, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

"The Birkie has been a factor in my life since the first time I skied the trail in 1976. My philosophy is to do whatever we can do to foster participation in the overall event. I want more people on the snow and enjoying the weekend."

~ Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director, Cable, WI

"On my 63rd Birthday (Feb. 11th) I made my "Birkie Fever" goal to do the race in under four hours. I was running behind my goal for most of the race. While crossing Duffy Road a cheering crowd of younsters gave me an adrenalin boost to kick my stide into overdrive. My finish time was 3:59:59. Thanks kids!

What I appreciate most of all is how the Birkie Staff does not quit after the race. They still have a grooming priority following the race and it makes for many hours and days of great grooming."

~ Carl Kozak, Hayward, WI

Praise for 2008 Events!

"It was like skiing on Heaven's Floor."

"Better than Christmas. I will be skiing the Birkie every year I'm alive on Earth. It's that special. Thanks for another spectacular year."

"To all of the you who make the American Birkebeiner your life. I thank you."

"Every year I marvel at the manner in which details are prepared and the volunteers so willing to help. Great stuff, always a highlight of the year for me."

"I just finished my first Birkie and loved it. You guys are amazing. I'm hooked. I'll be back next year."

"I would like to thank all the organizers and volunteers who provide a fun and motivating experience."

"It is just amazing how each year, something is always improved, since every year I think it is just perfect."

"I have grown to consider the Birkebeiner a lifestyle as opposed to a race, so there's no urge to let it go at the milestone of registering for my 20th race."

  Greetings from the Birkie®!

Ned Summer Image 2 Hi Skiers and Friends!

It's May and trail work is beginning. We are moving ahead on construction of the final phase of the Birkie Classic Trail. Logging started on May 5, and should be completed by July 1. Volunteers are helping us clear and remove small trees ahead of the loggers. Excavation and bulldozing of this 11K trail segment will begin in the near future. After that volunteers will be needed to remove rocks and roots, and seed and mulch the new trail. There are always volunteer opportunities in Birkieland. Contact the Birkie office if you'd like to help. We post weekly trail status reports on the Trail Report page of our website.
Click here to learn more.

We're also getting ready for the September Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek. Solo half marathoners, and several marathon relay teams have already signed up for this popular event. New this year is the non-competitive Birkie Trek. It is a half marathon length Nordic Walk that we're very excited about it as Nordic walking gains in popularity throughout the Midwest. Nordic walking with poles is great exercise and easier on your joints than running. Several ski and running shops in the Twin Cities, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau are helping us promote the event and Nordic walking by holding clinics and weekly group walks. More information is available at

See you on the Trails and stay fit!

Ned Zuelsdorff
Executive Director

  Birkie News®
Come Out Swinging for Fitness' Sake
Nordic Walking is Catching on in the Upper Midwest

By Darlene Prois

Walking the Birkie Trail, the three post-retirement aged Hayward men don't think of themselves as trendsetters. But with more than 80 Birkies between them, it's clear that Wayne Williamson, Paul Pedersen and Darrell Thompson know a thing or two about endurance. And that means that until the snow falls, they'll be Nordic walking.

Not that they'd call it that: according to Wayne, they're just using ski poles to help them on those relentless hills.

"Walking with the poles adds a new dimension," said Williamson, 71. "You get a better workout and it's easier on your knees."

Cross country skiers have long used poles for off-season training, but now, thanks to dynamite word-of-mouth buzz - and skillful marketing by Nordic pole manufacturers, the secret is out: the paybacks from adding poles to a walk aren't just for skiers. Nordic walking can help anyone reap significant health benefits, from north woods uber-athletes to urban grannies.

The sport is rapidly becoming one of the nation's hottest fitness trends. Using poles as you stride, it looks like cross-country skiing.....Continue reading, click here.

Photo:  A local group of veteran Birkie Skiers has incorporated training with poles for years.  Wayne Williamson, 71; Paul Pedersen, 65 and Darrell Thompson, 72; have skied more that 80 Birkebeiners combined.  Photo created Darlene Prois.

Birkie® Trail Work Day in Honor of National Trails Day - June 7, 2008

Celebrate National Trails Day by helping build the final segment of the Birkie Classic Trail! Volunteers are needed to help work on the new trail. We'll be cutting and removing small trees ahead of the logging operation, as well as removing rocks and roots from those portions of the trail that have been bulldozed.

All you need bring is a pair of gloves, loppers, protective eyewear and a water bottle. We will supply energy bars, lunch and beverages on the trail. Plan to meet at the Birkie Trail Crossing on Boedecker Rd at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 7. From there we will car pool to various work locations. Higher clearance vehicles are recommended once you leave Boedecker Road.

We will provide lunch and beverages for all volunteers on the trail between noon and 1 p.m. and then, for those who are able to continue, work until 2:30. Please contact the Birkie office by Thursday, June 5 at 715-634-5025, or if you are able to help "build the trail!" even for just a few hours. This will help us better plan and prepare for the day.

Directions to the Boedecker Rd. trail crossing: Go north from Seeley or south from Cable on Highway 63, turn east onto Northern Lights Rd, go left at the "T" onto Boedecker Rd. Continue on Boedecker Rd about 2 ˝ miles to the Birkie Trail crossing.

Wave Seeding for the 2009 American Birkebeiner®

We have established separate percent back criteria for free technique and classic technique for the 2009 Birkebeiner and Kortelopet.

We have also established a "conversion factor" for skiers wishing to use a time from a Birkie or Kortelopet Classic race to be placed in a wave for a 2009 Free Technique race and vice versa. The "conversion factor" is explained here and will only be used when a skier does not have a previous finish time from the 2005, 2006 or 2008 Birkie or Kortelopet for the technique you plan to use for your 2009 Birkie or Kortelopet race.

Click here to read more.
  Birkie® Fever

Ken Hundert Birkie Fever Birkie® 2000:  The Highway Less Bladed

By Ken Hundert

The night before Birkie 2000, on my way to Lakewoods restaurant for pasta and water, a radio bulletin announced the race had been cancelled.  Ugh, this meant that the treasured wax information earned by milling round at the New Moon Ski Shop, combined with erratic training, would not culminate in the completion of my 5th Birkie.  The warm embrace of an empty Main Street would have to wait until next year.

At dinner that rainy night, Pete from Duluth excused himself from the table.  A few minutes later, I saw him standing at the entrance to the large dining hall.  He was wearing his Birkie bib.  Our table rose and gave him a standing "O", not to be confused with "OO."

Returning to our table, he said, "I paid eighty dollars for this and I am going to use it."  To continue here.

Do you have a Birkie Fever story to tell?  Please send 300 word essays and photos to

  Training Tips

TomKaufman Now Is The Time to Run Those Hills

By Tom Kaufman

Anyone who has spent time on the Birkie Trail will attest to the hills and challenging terrain. It is part of what we all love about the trail. Those hills present specific challenges to anyone planning to tackle this year's Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek. Not only will the hills demand excellence from your cardiovascular system, but they will also demand strength and agility from your musculoskeletal system. Proper training through the summer will make your Birkie Trail running experience more fun, more successful, and more likely to be injury free.
Now is a great time to begin training for the wonderful hills you will find waiting for you in each of the Birkie Trail races. There are several different ways to approach your hill preparation. You can run...Continue reading, click here.

Thomas Kaufman,
earned a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology from UW-Madison and currently teaches physical education at Middleton High School.  He has been coaching high school track since 1976 and is currently the Head Boys Cross Country and Track Coach at Madison West High School.  He also uses his coaching expertise to guide community athletes and runners, from the Madison area who are mainly 30 years old and older, in their quest to run road and trail races.

Tom has been running for over 40 years and has completed hundreds of races, including 40-50 marathons (he has lost count).  He has also completed 19 Birkies and 7 Kortelopets and is currently a member of the Elite Wave.  Tom also shares his knowledge as a writer for Silent Sports magazine.

 What's Next?
Mark Your Calendars for the 36th American Birkebeiner®:  Feb. 19-21, 2009

From the Barnebirkie to the Birkebeiner, this citizen's ski race features something for everyone. Watch for 36th anniversary details in upcoming issues of Carpe Skiem and online at

About the Birkie®

From February 19-21, 2009, more than 7,000 fit, colorfully-clad skiers from all walks of life and from around the world will descend upon the Wisconsin northwoods to participate in the 36th anniversary American Birkebeiner, a cross-country ski race that weaves more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) along a hilly, heavily wooded trail from the Telemark Resort near Cable to the finish line on Main Street in downtown Hayward.

For some, it's serious business. The Birkebeiner is part of the Worldloppet, a circuit of 14 Nordic ski races held on four continents. The race attracts a top cadre of professional racers from 19 countries, including past and present Olympians and those competing in the International Ski Federation standings.

For many hundreds of others, though, it's an annual celebration of personal endurance and outdoor enthusiasm. Since its inception in 1973, 'The Birkie' has grown into the largest cross country ski marathon in the nation. While pros may complete the course in about two hours, legions of weekend warriors soldier on in triple that time. Citizen skiers can compete in the full race or sign up for 23 kilometer Kortelopet or one of our many other events.

You don't even have to click into skis to join in on the party. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 spectators line many portions of the route, and it seems all of Hayward is there cheering at the finish line. Equipment demos, citizen sprints, family fun races/tours and other events round out the weekend.

Take the Challenge, Ski the Adventure, Live the Birkie®

Upcoming Events

Birkie Classic Trail Work Day
Saturday, June 7, 2008

Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Foundation Annual Meeting
Saturday, August 9, 2008

Birkie Classic Trail Tour
Saturday, January 18, 2009

2009 American Birkebeiner Events

Thurs, Feb. 19 - Sat, Feb. 21, 2009

For more information visit
June 30th
Fee Deadline

The lowest entry fee of $70 is available until June 30, 2008.  Don't miss your opporutunity to save.  Register today click here!

Kortelopet skiers ages 22 or younger on race day take $20 off of your fee.
Offer Expires: June 30, 2008