August 2009
                                   Volume 7 - Issue 10
Quick Links
On-line Registration
Skier Confirmation

Birkie on Facebook®

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is now on Facebook®. Check us out for race information, discussion boards, photos and more.

Mark your calendars for the 37th American Birkebeiner
® from
Feb.  25-27, 2010!

The 2010 events include the 50K Birkie Skate sponsored by Becker Law Office, Subaru 54K Birkie Classic, and 23K Kortelopet Skate and Classic races sponsored by Premier Physical Medicine & Wellness Clinic.

Birkie 2010 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

or register today for the Trail Run, Relay or Trek.


Come out, ski and enjoy the Birkie and Birkie Classic Trails and become a Birkie Tour Founder!

The tour is an untimed, non-competitive, "open-track" event open to skiers age 13 and older.

Tour Options

Birkie Tour Distances
43K Birkie Tour
48K Birkie Tour
51K Birkie Tour

Korte Tour Distances
22K Korte Tour
27K Korte Tour

Learn more visit

The Birkie®:
37 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

Praise for 2009 Events!

I had a great time skiing my first classic birkie in many years. I want to congratulate Ned and everyone else who have worked so hard to bring the Birkie and the classic trail to near perfection.~Mick

The classic trail was a blast!!

I had so much fun!

Nice work with the buses this year.  The addition of the skier drop-off area was an excellent change.  This was the easiest year (out of 12 completed) that I have ever had to get dropped off and bused to the start.  Thanks for this change, I hope you can keep this change in place for future years.~Eric

The Volunteers are the best. Many thanks to them.

Beautifully groomed trails
Many eager, enthusiastic volunteers
Fewer grumpy contestants
More space and less congestion on the skate trails
Outstanding finishes. Is the winner of the classic going to have some bragging rights to his kids and grandchildren?!

To me the day is close to a religious experience, you are excited but respectful, almost reverent to the course and the challenges of the day. The people you are skiing with are all comrades on a mission to soak up the day and dig within to see what we all have down deep.


I pray I will be able and worthy to ski again next year.~Hugh

Thanks for a wonderful event! It's truly a pleasure being a participant.~Roger

The extension of the classic trail is great!

I had a great time, I'm an avid runner cyclist and I was very impressed by the amount of support that was available to the athletes at the Birkie. Thank you!

Superb Event! I traveled from Colorado to ski the event and from my perspective, I saw a "well-oiled" and well-supported event. I was moved emotionally by the community participation and the atmosphere of the day.

I have Birkie Fever already and its only March!

Excellent Birkie. Your volunteers make it smooth to those of us who come in for the event. They are much appreciated and help to promote the enthusiasm of the weekend.

Thanks for another great race!

The new classic trail is great. Wish it was even longer.

Great Race and great job by all!!!

A big thank you and congratulations for another extraordinary Birkebeiner. Everything was perfect as usual. Great volunteers at the food stands, miracle grooming by those miracle groomers, and a fantastic race. The number of hours everyone puts in to make this race so special is appreciated beyond words by us skiers. Thank you, thank you and thank you!~Barb

Everything was awesome and I've got "Birkie Fever."

Much love from Alabama! One closer to the purple bib.

I also thank everyone in the Birkie organization for another very well run event. It was a pleasure to visit Hayward once again. I look forward to
my 31st Birkie in 2010!

Gets better each year.
Keep it up.

This year was my first Birkie at age 68. The whole experience surpassed my expectations, including the trail itself, which was a lot better than I had imagined. The hills one after the other made for a great ski with no dangerous hairpin bends at hill bottoms to take skiers out in pileups like some ski marathons have. I had no close calls. Thanks!

I look forward to the Birkie each year, your volunteers are the best, and the race is very organized and exciting. Thanks so much!

You do a great job with the race. It has become a family tradition.

Great job...compliments to the populace of all the Hayward/Cable area.
Thanks for everything Birkie!

Great event. All the work everyone does is appreciated so much. It makes for a memorable event. I can't wait to return every year.

2009 was my first Birkie experience and I am hooked!! Fantastic job!

Thank you for continuing to put on an excellent event, and it seems to improve even more each year.

Marvelous Birkie 2009, congratulations to everyone who contributed!
Thank you!

Love the challenge of the Birkie. I will continue to participate as long as I can.

This was my first Birkie and I loved it!!!!
  Greetings from the Birkie®!

Hi Skiers and Friends!

We hope you're enjoying your Summer. The weather has been unusual, especially in Birkieland with beautiful days and very cool nights. It's been the norm for night temps to be in the 40s. It's been great conditions for taking that evening bicycle ride, run or hike. Time now to get a little more serious about preparing for the ski season, with the Birkie less than 200 days away.

Many people are already thinking about the 37th American Birkebeiner based on our early registration numbers. We already have almost 3,700 skiers signed up for the Birkie and Kortelopet races. That's nearly 1,400 skiers ahead of where we were at this time last year.

But, the Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek is much closer at hand and you're invited to come up and join us for a fun day on the Birkie Trail. The trail and the growing pieces of adjacent mountain bike single track have been great to run on. The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) is nearly finished with a new section of single track that starts at the "OO" cabin and goes all the way to Hatchery Park. It is wonderful for riding and running and will be a great snowshoe trail this winter.

As always, we welcome your comments and you can reach me at

Stay fit,

Ned Zuelsdorff
Executive Director

  Birkie News®
Record Number of Skiers Registered for 2010 Events

Over 3700 skiers have registered for the 2010 American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet.

"We are currently 1400 skiers ahead of last year's registrations at this time," said Executive Director, Ned Zuelsdorff. "People took advantage of the lowest entry fee and made sure they secured their position in the 2010 Birkie of Kortelopet by registering early."

In order to assure the best quality race experience possible the 2010 Birkie and Korte races will be capped at 7,500 skiers. The Board of Directors, Staff and Race Chiefs are working on addressing the infrastructure limitations, such as limited parking, congestion in getting to the start line, skier bag storage, etc.

"We plan to continue to grow the American Birkebeiner event in the future, but will not sacrifice the quality you expect from the Birkie," said Zuesldorff.

Next Registration Fee Deadline - Monday, November 30, 2009

Birkie Registration - $95
Korte Registration - $85

Kortelopet skiers ages 22 or younger on race day take $20 off of your fee.

Register now! Click here.

You may also download an application and fax it to 715/634-5663 or mail it to:
American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 911
Hayward WI  54843

Call 715-634-5025 or email with any questions.
Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek Registration Deadline

Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek

September 4th is the Early Bird Registration Deadline for the 2009 Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek events. Register early to save!

Click here to learn more about the events or to register.

Online registration available here.

2009 Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek
Featured Event...Birkie Trek

Birkie TrekBeautiful fall colors, grassy, hilly terrain, and a fun non-competitive event are a few of the great features of the 2009 Birkie Trail Trek one of the great events of the 2009 Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek being held Saturday, September 26, 2009.

The Birkie Trek is a 21K Nordic walking event beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Birkie Trailhead at Cty. Hwy. OO in Seeley, and ending at Hatchery Creek Park. Water, energy products and medical support will be available on the course.

Birkie Trek participants should park at Fish Hatchery park and take a bus to the Cty. Hwy. OO race start.

The 2009 Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek will start with a free Nordic Walking Clinic being held on Friday, September 25 from 5:30 to 6:30 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 Birkie Trail Head at County Highway OO and will be lead by the Queen of Nordic Walking, Linda Lemke from Hoigaards in the Twin Cities. Loaner poles will be available for both the Clinic and the Birkie Trek itself.

Get registered today, click here!
Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek

The Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek has an event for everyone. All events are held on the world famous Birkie Ski Trail during one of the most  beautiful times of year in the Northwoods.

Join us on Saturday, September 26, 2009 for a challenging trail run, relay or trek!

Four events to choose from:

  • 3 or 6 person Marathon Relay (26.2 miles)
  • Individual Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
  • 5K Fun Run & Walk
  • Birkie Trek (13.1 mile Nordic Walk)
American Birkebeiner t-shirts for all!
Class awards and post race refreshments also provided.

For more information or to register for one of the events click here or contact the Birkie Office at 715/634-5025 or
Birkie Trail Projects Moving Forward

The following trail projects announced last month are moving forward:
  • The bridge located in Duffy's field, about ¼ mile before the Birkie reaches Lake Hayward is being replaced. The old wooden bridge was no longer safe and has been removed. New concrete abutments are in place and the steel I-beam supports will be installed by mid-September. Installation of the wooden deck with railings will follow. The new 54' bridge will span a trout stream and will be completed by late Fall. We share the bridge with snowmobiles and it will become part of a new walking-running-bicycling trail. Two DNR trail grants and several generous donations are covering much of the $72,000 cost.
  • We've begun remodeling the "OO" warming cabin. The changing room side of the building is being expanded. Both sides of the building structure will have wooden storage cubes for daily use, and new tables and seats will be installed. Deconstruction has been completed and the project should be completed before the Birkie Trail Run.
  • Logging has begun to allow expansion of the parking area on the north side of the "OO" trail head. Heavy use this past winter created the need for the expansion to assure safety of trail users. The expanded lot will accommodate an additional 120+ cars. The expanded area will be planted to vegetation rather that graveled since most use will be in the winter.
  • The Fall mowing of the Birkie, Birkie Classic and Kortelopet trails will begin in early September.
  • Two corners at C24K+ and C25K on the Classic Trail will be reworked in the Fall well in time for the ski season. 
These projects are part of our continued effort to maintain and improve our trail facilities. You can help by becoming a Birkie Trail Friend. More information is available here.
American Birkebeiner's Young Skier Grant Programs

This year the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation will award $15,000 in grants to young skier programs. The application deadline is October 2, 2009, click here for application materials.

American Birkebeiner Board Members Elected

The Annual Meeting of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation was held Saturday, August 8, 2009. Board election results were announced based on 316 total absentee and on-site ballots cast by Foundation members. The following four Board members were elected; Bill Bauer (new) and incumbents Juli Lynch, Dave Nelson and Sue Scheer. Congratulations to these Board members.
Online Fundraising for Birkie Skiers for Cures Live this Week

Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek
Birkie Skiers for Cures raised over $110,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society last year.

Help is exceed this amount in 2010 by clicking here.

New Age Class Division Added

Per OsitgaardSkiers age 85 and over will ski in their own age class division for the Birkebeiner and Kortelopet events.

Per Ostigaard, Hoffman, Minnesota, and originally born in Norway was instrumental in the American Birkebeiner's addition of the 85 and over age class division in the Birkie & Korte events. Per contacted the office and indicated that there are participants still participating past 85 years old and they should be able to compete with others in their age range.

"Per contacted us and we listened," said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director. "Participants in the 85 and over age class have the same sense of competition as all skiers and they should have the opportunity to be awarded for their achievements."

Per Ostigaard has completed 17 Birkies and 6 Kortes. He has also completed 6 Norwegian Birkebeiners, one when he was over 80. In the year he did the Norwegian Birkebeiner at over 80 years of age he was one of 10 people to finish the event in that age class. The Norwegian Birkebeiner promoted his participation and achievement because he was the only American to reach this goal.

"If you feel like doing it, you should just do it," said Ostigaard. "If you register for the race then you set a goal and you will go out and ski. Without registering you may ski but not as often as if you are registered."

Per believes he remains very healthy at 85 years young because he has skied his entire life. His annual physicals indicate a very healthy heart and lungs. He plans to ski the 2010 Classic Kortelopet.

~Photo by Mark Milford.

Birkie Offers Matching Donation to CAMBA for Single Track Construction

The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) is seeking donations to allow completion of a two year project to build a 21 mile segment of single track from Hatchery Park to the "OO" Birkie trail head. Most of the trail has been completed and it is fantastic for both mountain biking and running.
In the winter it will be fun for snowshoeing.

The Birkie Board is offering the following challenge to mountain bikers and other trail users. The Birkie will match donations made to CAMBA after August 17 for completion of the trail, up to $2,000 total. More information about CAMBA and making a tax-deductible donation is available here.


We Need Your Help!

We are looking for Sponsors to become partners in the American Birkebeiner, the Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek, and the new BirkieTour. We can provide your company or employer with a chance to promote your goods and services to over 10,000 active, health conscious, well educated, family oriented, outdoor loving people just like you.

Sponsorships are important to the stability of these great events. We are able to customize the Sponsor benefits we provide to best meet the needs of a Sponsor. Please contact Ned at if you think your company is interested in this opportunity.

  Birkie® Fever

Former Couch Potato Sets His Sights on Birchleggings Club

By Leslie Hamp

David WherriteeWhen you look at David Wherritt, a thin, fit, 59-year-old from Ashland, Wis., it's hard to believe he used to be a couch potato. But that's the exact term he uses to describe his formerly sedentary lifestyle.

"I was in the process of getting healthy," says this diabetic skier with 15 Birkebeiners and two Kortelopets under his belt. "When my wife won an entry to the Kortelopet and skied the race before I did, I thought, 'If she could do it, I could do it.' I started training and got really lucky to ski with a partner, Jeff Skoraczewski. We skied two Kortelopets, and he finally talked me into skiing a Birkie."

Six hours and 45 minutes after he left the starting gate to complete his first long-distance marathon, David made that all too common statement
.......continue reading, click here.

Share Your Birkie Fever Story

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

Sleep Your Way to Fitness

By Jay Tapper

Jay's Note: The goal of the monthly fitness articles is for you to develop a comprehensive fitness program. Previously we have talked about posture, spine stabilization and flexibility, three important components of fitness. Another great addition to your Spine Stabilization program is the "Gluteus Medius Training (Clam)" To progress your flexibility program "Testing and Improving Your Flexibility" add the "Latissimus/Tricep Stretch". The spine stabilization exercises can be done 3 times per week. Stretch throughout the day. As always be aware of your posture and its importance in proper exercise technique and fitness, "Balance the Tray".

A good night's sleep is important for improving fitness and illness/injury prevention. Along with exercise and nutrition getting sound sleep will take your fitness program to the next level.

Sleep keeps your heart healthy, reduces stress and inflammation, and stimulates hormones that build and repair body tissues. Sleep also improves mood, memory, and concentration. An adequate amount of sleep may vary from 6-10 hours depending on the individual with the most important aspect being the quality of sleep.

Keys to a Good Night's Sleep...Click here to continue reading.

Jay TapperFitness In 5 Weekly Radio Program
Tune in to WOJB 88.9 FM every Friday at 10:45 a.m. Jay and long time Birkie skier Jacque Lindskoog present a Fitness in 5 tip of the week.
This week's program: Home Exercise Options for Building Strength. Don't miss a single episode of Fitness in 5! Stream it live by clicking here.
Learn more about Fitness in 5, click here.

Jay Tapper
is owner of ActivEdge LLC.  ActivEdge specializes in safety, fitness, and ergonomic programs for business and industry. ActivEdge also provides personal training services. Jay is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist.  For further information contact Jay at 218-393-8767 or

 What's Next?
Mark Your Calendars for the 37th American Birkebeiner®: Feb. 25-27, 2010

From the Barnebirkie to the Birkebeiner, this citizen's ski race features something for everyone. Watch for 37th anniversary details in upcoming issues of Carpe Skiem and online at

About the Birkie®

From February 25-27, 2010, 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 37th 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

2009 American Birkebeiner Trail Run, Relay and Trek

Saturday, September 26, 2009

2010 BirkieTour
Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010 American Birkebeiner Events

Thursday, February 25 - Saturday, February 27, 2010

For more information visit