December 2008
                                   Volume 5 - Issue 13
Quick Links

Now Available
Click link above to verify your race registration.

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

The 2009 events include the 50K Birkie Skate, Subaru 54K 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!

American Birkebeiner Trail Run, Relay & Trek

Sept. 26, 2009

The 2009 American Birkebeiner Trail Run includes you choice of:

  • 26.2 mile Marathon Relay
  • Individual 13.1 mile Half Marathon
  • 21K Birkie Trail Trek
  • 5K Fun Run/Wlak

Learn more visit

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

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

~Ken Hill
Completed 6 Marathons in his 60th Year.

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."

  Greetings from the Birkie®!

Ned Winter Hi Skiers and Friends!

We've received light amounts of snow almost everyday and have begun rolling and combing portions of the Birkie Trails. It's skiable but we are envious of the snow and skiing that's arrived further south. We will catch up! It's nice to see the widespread snow allowing many of you to get out and ready for the 36th Birkie in February.

As you'd expect we're working on putting the Birkie "puzzle" pieces together to make sure it's complete when you arrive here Race Week. Check out the Birkie Skiers for Cures piece below that identifies some of this year's prizes for top fundraisers including the once in a lifetime chance to meet and ski with Bjorn Daehlie. We've named this year's Birkebeiner warriors and Inga, mother of Prince Haakon who will join you on the course to commemorate the historic event on which the Birkie is based. In fact, there's so much more to let you know about that we will be sending you two Carpe Skiem e-newsletters in January.

Hope you enjoyed the Pre-Race Birch Scroll. Keep watching for more updates.

Stay Fit!

Ned Zuelsdorff
Executive Director

  Birkie News®
Three Skiers & A Baby Will Re-Enact 800-Year-Old Birkebeiner Legend

By Cherie Morgan

The search for three cross country skiers and a baby to re-enact the 800-year-old legend that inspired the creation of the American Birkebeiner cross country ski race from Cable to Hayward, Wis. is over.

During the 36th anniversary on Saturday, February 21, 2009, best friends Richard Pierce and  Jeff Cummisford will assume the roles of Torstein and Skervald, the Birkebeiner warriors who rescued Prince Haakon (Hō-ken) during the Norwegian Civil War in 1206.

The two Viking warriors, called "Birkebeiners" for the protective birch bark leggings they wore, skied more than 50 kilometers through rugged mountains and forested terrain smuggling the infant son of King Syverresson and Inga of Vartieg from Lillehammer to safety in the town of Trondheim.

The rescued prince became one of the most popular kings in Norwegian history, and the Birkebeiner soldiers became a Norwegian symbol of courage, perseverance and character in the face of adversity.

Richard's daughter, Lyndsey Lewis will dress as Inga from Varteig, mother of Prince Haakon, while her one-year old son Piercen will assume the role of the cherished prince.  Continue reading....Click here.

Read the winning essays, click here.

Looking for a Tax Deduction? Support the Birkie® Trail!

Most of you have been on the Birkie Trails many times and appreciate what a great and challenging trail it is. Many of you have also had the chance to ski on portions of the Birkie Classic Trail which has now been completed reaching "OO". We love these trails and do what we can to protect, maintain, and improve the trails throughout the year and groom them to perfection in the Winter. You can help us is this effort by becoming a "Birkie Trail Friend" and sponsor one of the kilometers and get a tax deduction yet this year. Thirty four individuals, families, businesses, organizations and groups of friends have already done this!

It's easy and there are 11 brand new Birkie Classic Trail Ks looking for a Sponsor. More information is available here. Help us continue to give you and other silent sports enthusiasts the best trail possible.

Birkie Briefs

Trail Report
Bookmark the Trail Report link for the latest information on skiing conditions.

Birchleggings Skiers

Birchleggings Skiers (those skiing their 20th or more Birkie) have the distinct honor of wearing the purple Birchleggings bibs. Birchleggings bibs are only guaranteed to those skiers who register by February 1st.

Waves & Seeding Criteria
2009 Birkebeiner and Kortelopet criteria for waves and seeding, bib sequences and wave start times can be found by clicking here.

Welcoming Ceremonies
The 2009 Welcoming Ceremonies will take place on Friday, February 20th at 1:00 p.m. This year the Ceremony will take place outside, near the front entrance of Telemark Lodge. The ceremony will include the lighting of the torch and a tribute honoring Tony Wise, the founder of the American Birkebeiner and a visit from the 2009 Birkebeiner Warriors, Inga and Prince Haakon.

New Merchandise Available at
The 2009 American Birkebeiner commemorative hat by Swix, the 2009 Poster designed by Kay Lum and the Race of the Birkebeiner book by Lise Lunge-Larsen all make great Christmas gifts for your favorite Birkie, Korte or Barnie skier. Check out all the merchandise online or call 715/634-5025.

Birkie Skiers for Cures - Opportunity to Ski with Bjorn!
By now we are sure you have heard that legendary cross country skier Bjorn Daehlie will be participating the 2009 Birkie Classic. How would you like the opportunity to Ski with Bjorn! By participating in the Birkie Skiers for Cures campaign you may receive such an honor. Click here to read more.

Still need to register? Click here.
American Birkebeiner to Use IPICO Sports Timing System

Peak Timing Systems and PrimeTime Timing announce their partnership with IPICO Sports for the 2009 American Birkebeiner.  IPICO Sports technology will be used as the official timing system for the 2009 American Birkebeiner.  The IPICO Sports turnkey timing system will allow for streamlined chip pickup at registration, on course splits and immediate race results at the finish line.  Peak Timing and PrimeTime are excited to collaborate with IPICO Sports on this event and to use the latest technologies to create an exceptional event experience for both participants and spectators.

"We're very pleased with this partnership; IPICO Sports continues to provide the best passive sports timing system on the market.  With the American Birkebeiner being the largest ski race in North American this will be a great way to showcase how IPICO Sports' streamlined system can improve...Continue reading, click here.

  Birkie® Fever

Dave ProisSetback Charts a New Course for Local Athlete

By Darlene Prois

At first, Dave Prois attributed his shooting abdominal pains to a strained muscle. New to skiing, he'd been training hard for the 2008 Kortelopet, only four weeks away.
But as days passed and his pain intensified, Prois sought expert advice. For four consecutive days.......continue reading click here.

Birkie Fever Stories Needed

We know you have a story to tell. Whether you are a skier, spectator or volunteer we want to hear from you. Birkie Fever is a phenomonen that touches many people in many different ways. Share your Birkie Fever with others. 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 story.
  Training Tips

Let It Snow!

TrainingDec08By Bill Pierce

The race season is now upon us and many parts of the country including the Midwest are experiencing some early season skiing.  I recently returned from a training camp on snow in West Yellowstone. One of my fellow coaches summarized the first ski of the season rather simply. He arrived at the trail before I did, skied for a few minutes and returned to the trailhead.  I asked him what the skiing was like, his response was, "It's slippery."

As we have the opportunity to ski on snow the first few times, we may have the feeling of ...Continue reading  click here.

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a coach for Central Cross Country Skiing and the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation Trail Supervisor. Bill has completed 12 Birkies and one Kortelopet.
 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.

Live the Birkie®

Upcoming Events

Birkie Classic Trail Tour
Sunday, January 18, 2009

American Birkebeiner Hosts Business After 5
Thursday, January 22nd
Birkie Office, Hayward

2009 American Birkebeiner Events

Thursday, February 19 - Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009 American Birkebeiner Trail Run, Relay and Trek
Saturday, September 26, 2009

For more information visit
Jan 15th
Fee Deadline

The next entry fee deadline is January 15th, Fee $90. Register today click here!

Kortelopet skiers ages 22 or younger on race day take $20 off of your fee.
Offer Expires: January 15, 2009