July 2008
                                   Volume 5 - Issue 8
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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 Skate, Subaru 53K Birkie Classic, and 23K Kortelopet Skate and Classic races.

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."

"What I appreciate most of all are the Birkie Staff efforts and how they don't quit after the race. They still have a grooming priority and it really makes for many hours and days of great skiing.   Thanks guys."

"I want to compliment the volunteers who staffed the course for their bright moods and helpfulness.  I also want to thank the folks who drove the buses and managed the traffic. Even the snowmobilers who add a little spice to the event.  It seems that every year those things are just the best.   This year you had snow and you used it perfectly."

"One of the most wonderful moments while skiing my first Kortelopet was skiing up the big hill to the amazing rhythm of Anishinabeg drummers and singers.  What an outpouring of power and warmth!  Please extend my thanks to those musicians if you know who they are." 

"As a volunteer, Kortelopet participant and spectator I wanted to thank the entire Birkie staff for a fantastic event. I continue to marvel at how you folks year in and your out conduct such a world class event!  Thank you!"

"My hat goes off to everyone involved in the "Greatest Show on Snow"  Every single volunteer should be proud."
"Congrats you pulled off one of the best Birkies ever!  I've done 28 Birkies and this one was really top notch.  Thanks to all of you who work hard all year to give us a fun day."

"Thank you for a lovely and safe Barnebirkie race.  My daughter skied in her first this year and really enjoyed it."

"The new classic course was a joy.  Reminded me of the old days, only better."

"Thanks for an outstanding race this year.  The conditions were outstanding and the volunteers were just as good."

"The classic trail was everything that everyone has been raving about, and definitely as much a challenge as previously striding on the freestyle course.  I can't wait for the extension to OO."

"Congrats you pulled off one of the best Birkies ever!  I've done 28 Birkies and this one was really top notch.  Thanks to all of you who work hard all year to give us a fun day."

  Greetings from the Birkie®!

Ned Summer Image 2 Hi Skiers and Friends!

We hope the Summer finds you having fun and staying active. We've passed the first registration cut-off and 2,134 skiers have registered for the 2009 race. Register and help us reach our goal of 7,000 skiers for the 36th American Birkebeiner this coming February. 

We're working on our summer project list just as most of your are. The Classic Trail project is moving along and we now are in the hand work phase and can use your help as mentioned below. We're nearing completion of our storage building addition at "OO". If all goes well we will be replacing a small bridge on the Birkie Trail just before the trail reaches Lake Hayward. Most of you may not even realize it's there, but you do ski over it, it's falling apart and it needs to be replaced so that we can keep you dry on race day. We're also removing downed trees from the trail and are mowing it for the first time this year. A lot of additional work lies ahead this Fall.

Summer and Fall are great times to enjoy the trail either by bike or on foot. Consider joining us for the 6th annual American Birkebeiner® Trail Run, Relay and new Trek on September 20.

We welcome your comments and you can contact me at [email protected].

See you on the Trails and stay fit!

Ned Zuelsdorff
Executive Director

  Birkie News®
American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation Board Election

The 13 member Board of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation establishes the policies of the foundation related to the American Birkebeiner event and distribution of skier development grants, provides stewardship of the trail, and promotes cross-country skiing in general.

Terms for five of the Board members expire this year and an election will be held on August 9, at the ABSF annual meeting and dinner at the Cable Community Center beginning at 6 p.m. You must be a foundation member by July 10, to be eligible to vote.

Members can either vote at the meeting or by absentee ballot. Candidate profiles will be posted on the website at the end of the week. Click here to read profiles.  More information is available by calling the Birkie® office at 715/634-5025.

To learn more about supporting the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation
through foundation membership, click here.

Birkie® Nordic Walking Clinic - Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Nordic Walking Clinic will be held on the Birkie Trail on Saturday, July 12, 2008, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.  The Clinic will be held at the "OO" Trail crossing near Seeley, north of Hayward. The Clinic is hosted by the Ski & Tea active woman's group from the Cable-Hayward area.

The Clinic will be presented by the Twin Cities "Queen of Nordic Walking", Linda Lemke, from Hoigaard's, who has been an outdoor enthusiast her entire life.  Currently she is the Coordinator for Hoigaards Outdoor Women's Program.  She has been a fitness walker for 24 years and added Nordic Walking Poles to her walk in 2004. As a LEKI Nordic Walking Trainer she teaches classes and leads walks all over the Twin Cities Area. Linda has been featured in articles in the Star Tribune, Good Age, MN Trails and most recently appeared on CBS Early Morning Show in New York.  Join Linda and other experts from Hoigaard's to learn more about this great new fitness workout that is sweeping the US.
There is a $5 fee for the Clinic to help cover the cost of post-Clinic refreshments at Mooselips Café in Seeley. Loaner poles will be available for $5. All participants will receive a $5 discount coupon for the Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek. Please wear comfortable clothing and good walking shoes, and let us know at [email protected] if you plan to attend. 

Nordic Walking Clinics in Your Area

Turn your fitness walk into a total body workout with Nordic Walking. Nordic Walking is extremely popular in Europe with over 80 million participants.
No matter your age, gender, fitness level, or experience, Nordic Walking is the perfect low impact total body workout for everyone.  The simple addition of Nordic Walking poles engages upper body muscles burning more calories and increasing your heart rate and oxygen consumption, all while being gentle on your joints.  It's an excellent way to strengthen your upper back, shoulders and core muscles while enjoying your walk outdoors.  You have the potential of working up to 90% of your body's muscles while using the poles. Once you try it you'll be hooked by the natural rhythm and fun of using nordic walking poles.
The Birkie has partnered with several shops to hold Nordic Walking Clinics and Group Walks to help people improve their Nordic walking technique and prepare for September's Birkie Trek. Partners include Hoigaards, REI, Midwest Mountaineering, Berkeleys Running Company and Revel Sports.

Click here for the schedule of Clinics and Walks. Clinic and Walk participants will receive a $5 discount coupon for the Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek.

Birkie® Classic Trail Update

Logging has been completed and the half of the final 11K segment has been bulldozed. Volunteers have begun cutting and removing roots and rocks in preparation for seeding and mulching the new trail.

We have a volunteer work night every Wednesday night from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Check the Trail Report for more information.

Birkie Classic Trail Work Day - Saturday, July 19, 2008

Here's a chance for you to give back and help be part of building a trail that you can later enjoy!

The Work day will be from 9:00 a.m. - Noon meeting at the "OO" trail crossing east from Seeley. We will be snipping roots and tossing rocks from the new trail. Bring your friends and make new friends while working together. All you need bring are gloves, water bottle and a large branch lopper if you have one. We will supply energy bars.

Please let us know if you can help by contacting us at [email protected] or call 715-634-5025 to let us better plan the work day. See you on the trail!
Birkie Trail Friends

We are seeking sponsors for each kilometer of the American Birkebeiner® Trail system. Your sponsorship as a Birkie® Trail Friend supports the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation's annual maintenance budget of $100,000 to maintain and groom the trail system. Your contribution will be recognized with a plaque at the kilometer you are sponsoring. You can sponsor as an individual, family, business or with up to three individuals or families.

The newest kilometers of the Birkie Classic Trail will be available to sponsor in September.  To learn more about Birkie Trail Friends or to become a sponsor, click here.
  Birkie® Fever

It's Not Just One More Birkie Story
Galina Powers
By Galina Powers

To whom it may concern (and I hope it means a lot of you) I am Galina Powers, a Russian-American nurse from Wisconsin. I began skiing the Prince Haakon race, then the icy Kortelopet last year (medal deserved), and a "real" Korte this year. I am sending a message that went out to many of my friends after the race.

I am exhausted to write separate report about my biggest year accomplishment, which is the Birkie race. In my case it was the Kortelopet. Both of them run at the same time with only a small difference, Korte is half of the distance (23K). You will figure out correctly the "top guns" do not mess with us Korte people. In respect we tolerate them accordingly. We even enjoy the drink or two with them after the race.

I was infected with the "Birkie virus" three years ago, and for the people who are still free of it, I am going to give you a warning, it is highly contagious and the only cure for it is........
continue reading here.

Photo of Galina courtesy of

Spread Birkie Fever!

Share your Birkie Fever story with all of us. Send 300 word essays or short quotes and photos to [email protected]
  Training Tips

TomKaufman Speed Training Anyone? Speed Training Everyone!

By Tom Kaufman

July's warm and hopefully dry weather presents a perfect time to begin adding some speed training to your preparation for this year's Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek. Many runners shy away from speed work. Some, in a self-deprecating manner think they do not run fast enough to warrant speed training.  Others seem not to know where to begin. Still others have some vague recollection of running painful sprints as part of their high school athletic experience. I can assure you that everyone, regardless of speed, can benefit from a well planned out system of speed work. The training sessions need not be long, but should be specific to your event in order to maximize their effectiveness.

Before you begin your speed training session, be certain to warm-up completely. A warm-up should take between 20 and 30 minutes. Stretching alone, while a component of your warm-up, will not be sufficient to do the job. Begin with an easy 10 - 15 minute run. This will increase the temperature of your muscles, readying them for the task at hand. Next include 10 minutes of stretching with a focus on your hamstrings, calves, quads, low back and Achilles tendons. Follow your stretching up with 5- 7 minutes of short, gradual accelerations; starting slowly and increasing the tempo until you feel ready to begin your session.

Plan your speed work to specifically address the race of your choice. A long relay leg or the Half-Marathon requires a different focus than.....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 15 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 Night
Every Wednesday
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Call 715-634-5025 or check out the Trail Report
for more information & meeting location.

Birkie Nordic Walking Clinic
Saturday, July 12, 2008
10:00 a.m. - Noon at the "OO" Trail Crossing

Birkie Classic Trail Work Day
Saturday, July 19, 2008
9:00 a.m. - Noon
Meet at the "OO" Trail Crossing

Foundation Annual Meeting & Dinner
Saturday, August 9, 2008
6:00 p.m. at the Cable Community Center

Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Birkie Classic Trail Tour
Sunday, January 18, 2009

2009 American Birkebeiner Events

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

For more information visit
Oct 31st
Fee Deadline

The next entry fee deadline is October 31st, Fee $80.  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: October 31, 2008