August 2008
                                   Volume 5 - Issue 9
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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."

  Greetings from the Birkie®!

Ned Summer Image 2 Hi Skiers and Friends!

I hope you've been able to stay active this Summer. It's going quickly as we approach Fall which is a great time to visit and spend time enjoying the area and the trails.

We're really looking forward to this years' Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek on September 20. The new Birkie Trek Nordic walking event now means there's something for all of you whether you're ready for the Half Marathon individual run, the Marathon Team Relay, the Half Marathon Walk or the 5K Fun Run and Walk. So come on up and see the great Birkie Trail from a new perspective.

We continue forward in preparing for the 36th Birkie. Construction of the Birkie Classic Trail will be complete to "OO" and will be part of the 2009 American Birkebeiner offering a new 54K Classic Race sponsored by Subaru.

You can help build the new Trail. A Trail Volunteer Work Morning will be held Saturday, August 30, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. More information is available here.

We want to keep you informed of all our plans for the big event. Look for more info in the September Carpe Skiem.

See you on the Trails and stay fit!

Ned Zuelsdorff
Executive Director

  Birkie News®
American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation Annual Meeting

On Saturday, August 9th the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation held its Annual Meeting.  Those in attendence had the opportunity to hear various committee reports and remarks from Board Members and Executive Director Ned Zuelsdorff. The highlights included:
  • Birkie & Korte Race Registrations are up 525 from last year at this time.
  • Construction on the third section of Classic Trail is nearing completion to "OO" and it will be ready for the 2009 race.
  • Race Registrations are also ahead of last year for the September Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek Events.
  • Poland's Nordic Ski Race, the Bieg Piastow, has been added to the Worldloppet Circuit. This brings the total number of Worldloppet races to fifteen.
  • Elected to the Board are Scott Chapin, John Kotar, Dennis Kruse, Don Maher and Paul Pedersen.

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

2008 Birkie® Trail Run, Relay and Trek

The 2008 Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek is just over a month away. This year there is an event for everyone. All events take place on the famous, hilly Birkie Trail at one of the most beautiful times of the year. Find your event, get your friends together, register and join us for a great day on the trail!

26.2 Mile Marathon Relay

Relay Team categories include 3 person and 6 person "Open", "Womens", and "Mixed" Teams. All team members must be at least 12 years of age on Race Day. Teams will be handicapped based on participant ages and genders. Water, energy products and medical support will be available on the course, but teams will be responsible for transporting team members to specified relay exchange points using a single vehicle. Higher clearance vehicles are recommended.

Individual 13.1 Mile Half Marathon

The individual half marathon will include mens and womens divisions and 10 year age classes. All half marathon runners must be at least 16 years of age on race day.

5K Fun Run/Walk

The 5K Fun Run/Walk is open to anyone age 12 or older on race day. This is also for you Trekkers who aren't quite ready for the Birkie Trek.

21K Birkie Trek - NEW FOR 2008!

The new 21K Birkie Trek is a non-competitive, untimed Nordic Walk with poles modeled after European Volksmarches. Participants, age 16 and over walk the trail over this half marathon distance.

Fun for All Following the Events

Complimentary sandwiches and beverages will be available for all participants at the finish area, as well as available to spectators at nominal cost. Expect music and lots of door prizes.

For more information or to register for the events click here or call 715/634-5025 or email

Nordic Walking Mini-Clinic - Friday, September 19th

There will be a Nordic Walking Mini-Clinic the night before the Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek events. The mini-clinic will be held Friday, September 19, 2008, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The clinic will allow Nordic Walkers to fine tune their skills for the Birkie Trek. The mini-clinic will take place at the "OO" Birkie Trailhead and will be lead by Linda Lemke, the Queen of Nordic Walking, from Hoigaards in the Twin Cities. Loaner poles will be available for $5. There is no charge for the mini-clinic and Leki Nordic walking poles will be available for purchase.

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

What the Birkie Means to Me
Kurt Brownell
By Kurt Brownell

I skied my first Birkie in 1991 on old skis in a blinding snowstorm, not knowing how to properly wax skis.   Crossing the finish line was such an incredible experience that I was hooked after only one race.

That following summer, I suffered an accident from which I was lucky to survive. I was struck from behind by an automobile traveling 60 MPH while riding my bicycle home from work.  The first thing I remember was seeing relatives in the hospital late that evening. I suffered from a shattered shoulder blade, a concussion that caused amnesia and a loss of short-term memory, ribs so injured that it hurt to breathe for months, and many other cuts, bruises, and scrapes. 

By that fall, I was finally ready to start physical therapy that would last over a year...continue here.

Birkie Fever Inspiration
We found Kurt's story truly inspiring. We would love to hear what inspires and motivates you. Or how about a funny story about your favorite Birkie experience. We know you have stories to tell. Share your Birkie Fever. Send 300 word essays or short quotes and photos to Afraid you can't write? Don't let that stop you. We can take your words and weave them into a great Birkie Fever.
  Training Tips

TomKaufman Good Race Planning Can Make All the Difference

By Tom Kaufman

Your training is going well and your excitement is starting to build for next month's Birkie Trail Run, Relay or Trek. Now is the perfect time to start planning your race day strategy. Whether you will be competing for a podium spot or taking a more casual approach, a well thought out race plan will make your day that much more enjoyable.

A good rule of thumb is to plan for the unexpected. Those who are running the relay event may be surprised at how their day goes. I have run dozens of relays and rarely does a race go completely as planned. We have had...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.

Trail Volunteer Work Morning
Saturday, August 30, 2008
9:00 a.m. to Noon

Birkie Nordic Walking Mini-Clinic
Friday, September 19, 2008
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the "OO" Trail Crossing

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