January 2009
                                   Volume 6 - Issue 1
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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!

Less than 50 days to the 2009 Birkie, our 36th anniversary! Skiing on the Birkie Trails has been great and many skiers are taking advantage of the wonderful conditions. Hope you're having the chance to get out, have fun and get ready!

We have 4,700 skiers registered, well ahead of last year. Help us get even more people involved so we can break the 7,000 barrier for skiers on the start line on race day. Talk to your friends and urge them to finally come up and be part of the event. We are doing everything we can to hold the best, most memorable Birkie ever whether you're skiing the 50K Birkie Skate, 54K Birkie Classic, 23K Kortelopet, or the Prince Haakon 8K.

Preparations here are really ramping up. Check below for more info on your once-in-a- lifetime chance to meet and Ski with Bjorn Daehlie or to win a Bjorn autographed Current Designs kayak as part of the Birkie Skiers for Cures fundraiser. There's info about new busing services we're providing, our expanded Birkie Team Competition, this year's Sit-Ski demo event for disabled skiers and Camp Birkie for Kids.

We welcome new Birkie and Kortelopet Presenting Sponsors Becker Law Office, and Premier Physical Medicine and Wellness Clinic, as well as new sponsor Wenonah Canoe/ Current Designs kayaks. They join our existing Sponsors in making the event possible for you. There's more info about all these folks on our Sponsor webpage.

We're looking forward to the upcoming Birkie Classic Trail Tour on January 18 at OO. Come join us for a fun, non-competitive tour of the newest segment of the now completed trail and enjoy hot chocolate, hot dogs and chili after your ski.

Stay Fit!

Ned Zuelsdorff
Executive Director

  Birkie News®
Ski with Bjorn!

This year Birkie Skiers for Cures IV is raising funds for Multiple Sclerosis research. More information about how you can get involved is available here.

This year's top fundraiser will receive a free weekend get-away at Cable's famous and popular Lakewoods Resort. The get-away includes boating and golf opportunities, as well as a dinner.

Top fundraisers (20) will have the chance to meet, ski, have lunch and have their photo taken with Norwegian Olympian Bjorn Daehlie on Thursday of race week. We'll meet late morning and introduce you to the man many consider to be the greatest cross-country ski racer of all time. The 30-45 minute ski will be a very easy tour for both skaters and classic skiers. We'll then head for a great lunch and you'll have the chance to talk with Bjorn and maybe get some race day tips! This once-in-a-lifetime event is by invitation only. Anyone raising $2,500 or more will get an invitation. Anyone raising $250 or more will be part of a random drawing for the remaining slots. The fundraising deadline for this opportunity is Monday, February 16, 2009.

In addition, anyone raising $250 or more by Friday, February 20, 2009 will be part of a random drawing for other fantastic awards including:
  • A high quality Current Designs kayak, autographed by Bjorn, courtesy of new Birkie Sponsor, Wenonah Canoes/Current Designs, Winona, MN.
  • A weekend getaway at Spider Lake Lodge, Hayward, WI
  • A weekend getaway at Tagalong Golf & Resort, Birchwood, WI
Click here for more information.

Birkie® Busing for 2009

We are adding some busing options to help reduce congestion getting to the start line as well as save fuel. You will also have the same free parking and busing available as in the past. More info is available here.

It is very important that you allow plenty of time to drive, park and then bus to Telemark where you will have a 500 yard walk to the start line. From Hayward you should allow at least two hours to get to the start line.

The following race day, busing options will also be available for the 2009 race:

1.  Free school buses will be available to carry skiers from near downtown Hayward to Telemark Lodge. A large parking area will be available four blocks from the Birkie Finish Line. Buses will load one time at 6:30 a.m. to take skiers directly to Telemark Lodge. Take advantage of this option, avoid the hassle and have your car near the finish line. There are no return buses to this parking area.

2.  Two coach buses will be available to transport skiers from near downtown Hayward to the Start Line. Park in Hayward, ride a luxury bus to the start line where you can stay on the bus until your start, and have your car waiting for you at the finish. These buses will leave Hayward at 6:30 a.m. This is a fundraiser for young skier programs and $85 of the $100 per skier fee is tax deductible. There is a 100 skier limit for this option and sign-up deadline is February 1, 2009.

3.  One coach bus will be available to transport skiers from the Twin Cities to the Start Line. This busing option is sponsored by Finn Sisu in cooperation with the Birkie. This option is intended for those skiers who want to participate but are unable to come up for more than a day. The luxury bus will leave the Twin Cities at 3:30 a.m., take you directly to the Start Line and remain at Telemark until the Kortelopet is completed. The bus will then travel to the Hayward finish area and leave Hayward for the return ride to the Twin Cities at 6:00 p.m. This is a fundraiser for young skier programs and $100 of the $150 per skier fee is tax deductible will go to young skier programs. There is a 50 rider limit for this option and sign-up deadline is February 1, 2009. Non-skier spectators are welcome to use this option. For more information or to make reservations on the Twin Cities bus please contact Finn Sisu at 888-346-6747.

For complete busing information click here.
IMPORTANT! Race Registration Deadlines

January 15th Registration Fee Deadline
Still need to register? Save money register by January 15th for the following fees:
Birkie/Korte Fee $90
Prince Haakon $30
Click Here to Register Now!

Race Registration Change Deadlines - $10 fee is required/change

Race Change Deadline From Birkie to Korte or Korte to Birkie
due by midnight, Monday, February, 9, 2009

Wave Change Deadline due by midnight, Monday, February 9, 2009. Qualifying race information must accompany request including Race name, distance, year and finish time. A complete list of qualifying races and criteria is available here.

Classic/Skate Designation Change Deadline due by midnight, Monday, February 9, 2009

Changes should be emailed to or faxed to 715-634-5663 or call 715-634-5025. Include skier name, date of birth, change request and credit card number with expiration date for $10 fee. Additional information is required for skiers requesting wave changes using qualifying information. Please see above.

Registration Deadlines
Registration by Mail, Fax and On-line  due by Friday, February 13, 2009

Race Week Registration Thursday, February 19th and Friday, February 20, until 6:00 p.m.

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

2nd Annual Birkie Classic Trail Tour

Come out with your friends and ski the new Birkie Classic Trail. After three years of work the new trail is complete and now reaches "OO". The Birkie Classic Trail will be used as part of the 2009 Birkie Classic Race.

The Tour is a non-competitive, untimed, fun event using both the new Classic Trail and the Birkie Trail. Skier registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. and skiers can begin the tour anytime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the County Rd. "OO" Trail Head cabin located three miles east from Seeley.

The "Grand Opening" of the trail will be celebrated at 1 p.m. with installation of a recognition plaque in the "OO" cabin.

The Birkie Classic and Birkie Trails will be groomed for both classic and skate skiing. The route will be well marked and maps provided. The main Tour route will be 20K in length, with the option of adding a K to get to and from the Fire Tower highpoint, with short options of 4K, 6K, 10K and 14K available. Adventurous skiers can go further on their own if they wish, but shuttle service will not be provided.

Following the Tour you can enjoy a hot dog cookout, chili and hot chocolate at the "OO" cabin. There is no fee for the tour, but donations are welcome.

More info is available at 715/634-5025 or

Birkie Briefs

Awards Distribution, Pick Up and Shipping Procedures
This year all skier awards and recognition items will be available for pick-up:

Saturday, February 21st from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Telemark Resort
Veteran's Community Center in Hayward

Sunday, February 22nd from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Veteran's Community Center in Hayward

This year awards will only be mailed out by skier request. For a fee of $8 awards will be mailed to skiers within the Continental U.S. Payment by credit card or check made payable to the ABSF should accompany the request which can be made to or by phone at 715-634-5025.

Merchandise awards will not be mailed unless requested by skier and an additional fee is due. Please contact the Birkie Office for a shipping quote and to provide payment information.

Waves & Seeding Criteria

2009 Birkebeiner and Kortelopet criteria for waves and seeding, bib color/piping 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.

Volunteers Needed
Whether you are a skier, spectator or local resident we have a job for you. Become a Birkie volunteer! Everyone is welcome, no experience is necessary. Inside and outside positions are available. Join the 2,000+ volunteers who help make the Birkie "The Greatest Show on Snow." Please call 715-634-5025 or email us at for more information.

Trail Report

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

Camp Birkie for Kids Continues at 2009 American Birkebeiner

Conserve School of Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin, will sponsor a nine hour environmental education camp for Kindergarten through 6th grade children, called Camp Birkie for Kids, at this year's Birkebeiner. Camp Birkie for Kids runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Feb. 21st, Birkie race day, at the Cable Community Center. Cost is $30 per child, which includes lunch and snacks.

"The American Birkebeiner is grateful that the Conserve School has once again agreed to coordinate Camp Birkie for Kids," said Ned Zueslsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. "The camp allows parents to ski their event knowing that their children are well taken care of and receiving a great educational experience." 

"Camp Birkie for Kids is a fun here to continue reading.
3rd Annual American Birkebeiner Team Competition Expanded for Birkie 2009!

Sponsored by Lake Superior College, Duluth, MN
There's nothing like the energy of a team to bring out the best in a group of athletes. The team spirit and camaraderie motivates men and women of all ages and fitness levels. Now there's an outlet for all that energy, training and motivation.

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation and Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota will again present the Team competition for both the Birkie and the Kortelopet. For 2009 the Team competition has been expanded to include an "Open" Division for skiers from the same business or organization including clubs. This is in addition to the Divisions for "College" and "Junior" skiers. The Team competition is free for all registered skiers. More information is available here.

Premier Physical Medicine and Wellness Clinic:
Early Season Tips for a Successful Ski Season

Premier Physical Medicine and Wellness Clinic (PPMWC) is proud to be a presenting sponsor of the Kortelopet race of the American Birkebeiner.  PPMWC is located in Woodruff, WI.  A progressive state of the art clinic opened December 29, 2008.  The clinic owners are avid cross-country skiers, who are very familiar with the American Birkebeiner having skied the event annually for many years.  Dr. Jim Mullen has skied 17 and continues to ski out of the elite wave. Diane Mullen skied 10 before having children.  They are strongly committed to enhancing functional training and rehabilitation for all ages.  Dr. Mullen is also pleased to provide services for the CXC elite team.

Early season training lays the foundation for late season racing successes.  Too much, too hard, too early, intensity training, coupled with inadequate recovery time can all lead to impaired performances later in the season.  Start by taking a mental note of your present stressors, job, family, school, injuries, etc.  These need to be considered in your training plan, many master's athletes find themselves attempting to "do it all", and dig themselves into a deep hole that is difficult to recover from.  Strategies for stress management control are paramount to help minimize potential for illness and injuries.  Monitor sleep patterns, attempt to keep a regular schedule, frequent hand washing and promoting active recovery in your training will all help improve your chances of having a successful season. 

Incorporating mobility/stretching activities....Continue reading, click here.
Birkie "Sit-Ski" Demo Event

The 2009 Birkie will include a "Sit-Ski" demo event on race day. The event is for disabled skiers and is sponsored by Becker Law Office, Madison, WI, who specializes in disability law. Twelve disabled skiers are expected to participate in this 3K-5K event on Lake Hayward finishing on Main Street ahead of the first Birkie finishers.

This will be an opportunity for spectators to view skiers overcoming their personal obstacles to increase their fitness and be part of the American Birkebeiner. We need additional volunteers to help with and be part of this new event. More info is available here in our schedule of events listing.

  Birkie® Fever

Family Honors Birkie Skier Who Lived Her Life to the Fullest

By Alan Johnson

KellyBirkieFeverIn her very short life, my sister Kelly accomplished many things. A challenge was something to take on and never did she shy away from one. Early on in her athletic endeavors she raced on bicycles and alpine skis which in turn led to adventure travel. Stops throughout North America, South America, New Zealand, and Asia provided Kelly the opportunity to trek, bungee jump, snorkel, scuba dive, and kayak in lands with cultures much different from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she grew up.

The grace of flight eventually attracted Kelly to hang gliding which was one of her life's passions. It was during her hang gliding years that Kelly caught Birkie Fever. I think that there must have been "something in the air" at the time she contracted the fever. Others think that there must have been.......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

Ski and Wax Lessons from the Past

By Bryan Fish

Undoubtedly, one of the questions that echoes through the Telemark Lodge the night before the American Birkebeiner is, "What is the forecast for tomorrow?"  Fortunately, forecasting has gotten better over the years, but there is still a fair amount of uncertainty as it relates to "future forecasts."

It's easy to sit back and discuss what we "should have" or "could have done differently" after the fact, but such "predictions" are part of the thrill that makes up the American Birkebeiner.

With that being said, we no doubt learn from the past and I thought this might be a good opportunity to walk through my personal experiences over the last two years.  My experiences are not those of skiing down Hayward's Main Street but instead as one of the individuals "in the pits" (so to speak) who supports the "drivers" of the skis I help select and wax.  This position is certainly not as glamorous as
  ...Continue reading  click here.

Bryan Fish
Bryan Fish is the Central Cross Country Skiing Elite Team coach and 2007 United States Ski and Snowboard Association Cross Country Domestic and Development Coach of the Year.
 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