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August 9, 2011
                                 Volume 9 - Issue 10
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Mark your calendars for the 39th American Birkebeiner from
Feb.  23-25, 2012!

The 2012 events include the 50K Birkie Skate, 54K Birkie Classic sponsored by Becker Law, and 23K Kortelopet Skate and Classic races sponsored by Marshfield Clinic of Hayward. 


Birkie 2012 also features shorter races, events and festivities for:

  • men, women, teens and kids
  • families
  • skijor enthusiasts 
  • 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! 


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. 24, 2011

The 2011 American Birkebeiner Trail Run includes you choice of: 

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

Learn more visit 

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




January 21, 2012  

Come out, ski and enjoy the Birkie and Birkie Classic Trails and participate in the BirkieTour!

The tour is an untimed, non-competitive, "open-track" event open to skiers age 13 and older.
  Birkie & Korte Tour Distances
Registration will be available this Spring!

Learn more visit 

The Birkie:
  39 Years of Inspiring Skiers
to Live Fit, Healthy Lives!

February 23-25, 2012


 In our house, winter is a journey whose destination is the BIRKIE!   


"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

For almost thirty years, it has been a blessing in my life! THANK YOU.

You guys run a world class event. It is the most fun you can have while torturing yourself.

See you at the start, race you the finish...hoping to have the time of my life along the way!
-Jim Reker

To me the day is close to a religious 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.

Better than Christmas. I will be skiing the Birkie every year I'm alive on Earth. It's that special."

THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who make this race possible!!!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the volunteers!

Love skiing with over 8000 of my closest friends.


BIG THANK YOU to the Birkie staff and volunteers and the citizens of Hayward and Cable for making this wonderful event possible and a BIG THANK YOU to the fans for making the experience of skiing up Main Street second to none.

~Chris Jones



Thank you for giving us all something to focus on all winter long!



Birkie day is the gretest day of the year in my mind, ranking above Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Packer Sundays, Badger Saturdays, opening day of fishing season and even ahead of opening day of gun deer season.  


Birkie day is the ultimate Wisconsin experience.



The best organized 'signature' sports event I have ever been involved in. Excellent experience!!! Thanks to all the volunteers!!! They are wonderful!!!




 Skier Praise for
2011 Birkie Events!



Love this event, love the organization, love all the people who are involved. Thanks! Keep up the good work.



Birkie is an A+ event and I hope to be back next year!



A million thank you's to all the outstanding volunteers is not enough. They are the reason the race continues.



This was my first Birkie and it was AWESOME!!! I will definitely be back next year and many years to come...I want my purple bib!!



Extremely well organized, volunteers and locals really make you feel welcome.



GREAT JOB everyone. Really impressive series of events for three days.



The Birkie was an epic race! I hope I can be back next year with more experience, more training,  

and better technique.
(And hopefully warmer weather!)



Best organized event I have ever done. Volunteers are great people. Well done!



This was my first year and it will not be my last. It was a great challenge and I am all ready thinking about what I can do to improve
my time for next year!
Bravo and thank you very much!



I really enjoyed my first Korte. Thanks to all the volunteers and event staff!



Another great year of Birkie events. Thank you all so much for your efforts. See you next year.



I would like to thank all who made this race possible and to all the volunteers who gave their time and
braved the cold.



This was my first endurance race of any kind, and I had a blast! Everything was great.
Thanks for the memories!!



Fantastic event - Great people - great organization and lots of fun!





Thanks for a wonderful family event!



I'm hooked on the Birkie now.
Many thanks!

  Greetings from the Birkie�


Hi Skiers and Friends!


We at the Birkie are deeply saddened by yesterday's loss of David Landgraf, one of our Birkie Founders, and one of three people who has completed every one of our 38 past Birkie events. He is a significant part of our Birkie family, and we will miss him.


We extend our sincerest condolences to his family at this very difficult time. I'm sure Dave's spirit will touch all of us as we run and ski the Birkie Trail, two of his favorite pastimes as he lived the Birkie!


Stay fit,


Ned Zuelsdorff

Executive Director


 In Memory of Dave Landgraf

David Landgraf, well known in the cross country ski community as a "Founder of the American Birkebeiner" died Monday afternoon, August 8, from injuries he suffered when a car hit him while he biked on Hwy. 27 south of Hayward, WI.


"He was an amazing person and part of the very fabric of the Birkie," says Ned Zuelsdorff. "To see Dave in that lone, red Founder's bib, coming across the finish line with men many years his junior, is just a testament to Dave's spirit as a person and an athlete. He represented something very special to so many skiers." Read More  

A celebration of Dave's life
is being held at on Saturday, August 13, at the Bloomer Middle School Gym in Bloomer, WI, with lunch following in the cafeteria. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Bank Mutual in Bloomer for the Bloomer Track Program or Ski Strong, or to the Chippewa Valley United Way.

 Event Registration

Birkie Registration Tops 5,000


The response to our first registration fee deadline on Monday, August 1st, broke all previous records. More than 1,500 skiers registered over the five-day period leading up to the fee deadline. That puts the total number of skiers now registered for the Birkie, Kortie, and Prince Haakon combined at over 5,000, which is 1,100 ahead of even last-year's record-setting pace. The Birkie Trail Run & Trek events coming up on September 24 also received registrations from many new and repeat participants as well, with a total of more than 400 runners and trekkers and 25 marathon relay teams on board.


The next registration fee deadline is November 30. 

Save $15 when you register on or before that date.


Important - Wave Placement:

Wave placement for the Birkie and Kortelopet is based on a first received, first placed basis. Please note that waves 1 through 4 are filling fast. If your wave fills, you will be placed in the next available wave.


Click on the following links to register online or to download a printable form to mail or fax.

NEW: On the printed race registration form, you will now find the Emergency Contact Information on the back of the form as part of the Waiver. Please be sure to complete this section before mailing or faxing the form.


  Birkie News

Next Birkie Event:           

Birkie Trail Run & Trek - September 24

Join us for the ninth annual Birkie Trail Run & Trek on September 24. Whether you run, walk, team relay, or trek, there is something for everyone, including awards for top finishers and age class winners, plus lots of door prizes. This is a beautiful time of year on the fantastic Birkie Trail.  

Choose from these events:

Want Training Tips for These Events?  See "Birkie Training" section, below.

Please Note:
There will be no race day registration for the Birkie Trail Run & Trek events. You may, however, register at the Birkie office all day Friday, September 23, from 8 am to 8 pm.  


Clinic Series - Be Birkie Ready!           

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is hosting a series of three Nordic training clinics in preparation for the 2011-2012 ski season this winter.

Dates for These Saturday Clinics: 

  • September 10, 2011
  • November 5, 2011
  • January (to be determined)
The clinics will be held in Seeley, Wisconsin. Further information on the format and content of each clinic, coaching staff, and registration, will be released by August 15th and posted on Facebook (become a friend!), and in our September "Carpe Skiem!"

NEW! for Birkie 2012:
Virtual Race Bags

The American Birkebeiner has selected Virtual Race Bags™ to provide each of its 9,400 ski marathon participants with an online race bag for its February, 25, 2012 cross country ski events. Virtual Race Bags is an online system that replaces the plastic or even reusable bags traditionally used by this and most other races to provide product samples, coupons, gifts, trial offers, and more from ..." continue reading.
Young Skier Program Grants:
Apply by October 1st

Start thinking about applying for one of the fifteen Young Skier Program grants for 2011. Each of these $1,000 grants will be awarded to programs that
promote cross country skiing as a fun, energetic activity that is part of an active and healthy lifestyle. To date the American Birkebeiner has awarded over $175,000 to programs across the United States. Get complete details and application form, plus see a list of past recipients. Apply by October 1.

Featured in Outside Magazine 

The American Birkiebeiner and 2009 winner, Matt Liebsch, were featured in the May 2011 issue of Outside Magazine: Did you see it? It's part of an article called:  


"The Mutants Next Door"  


"Wisconsin's American Birkebeiner is like the Iron Man of Nordic skiing: top pros from all over the world show up in droves. Which is why it was such a surprise when 27-year-old Matt Liebsch won it in 2009-he was the first American to ..." continue reading. 



Stay in Touch!

The Birkie Forum ... On the Birkie website, this is your way to connect with other skiers, find training groups in your area, prep for race day, swap gear, trade recipes, and more. The Birkie Forum is open to anyone who wants to create or join conversations with other Birkie skiers and runners.
Facebook-Birkie Image
You can also join us on Facebook!  


American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation 

Become a Member

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is a membership organization. There are membership levels for individuals, families, and busines
ses. To learn more about becoming a member,
Click Here.

Annual Meeting

The Foundation Annual Meeting for all members will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2011, at Telemark Resort, Cable, WI.  

Board of Director Elections
Foundation members will receive ballots this month. You may vote by mail or drop your ballots off at the Birkie office in Hayward. These ballots must be received at the Birkie office by Friday, August 12, 2011. If mailing your ballot, please send to: ABSF, P.O. Box 911, Hayward, WI, 54843.
  Birkie Trail Friends

The Story Behind the Mosquito Brook 38K Marker       


This monthly feature is where we highlight the sponsors behind all those K-marker plaques and how you can become a "Birkie Trail Friend" too.

           SISU FoundationSisuFoundation-RollerSkiing

    By Ben Popp and Tom Helm


A Tale of Two Skiers & Sisu Spirit! 


"Sisu" is a Finnish term, loosely translated into English as ''strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity." Ben Popp, the Sisu Foundation's Executive Director, stood atop his first pair of skis at age two ... it had begun. In 2002 Ben won ... " continue reading


 Annual Birkie Trail maintenance now exceeds $150,000 each year. The Birkie Trail Friends program helps significantly. Many Birkie and Kortie kilometer markers have been sponsored, but more Ks are still available or up for renewal. Learn more at Birkie Trail Friends

  Birkie Fever

"Power Line - Which Way Is Shorter?"

By Tom Helm


"Here's a fun story for anyone who has ever (who hasn't?) looked at the Power Line and tried to determine which way to ski--to the left or the right. Well, here goes. I have completed two Birkies and during both of them I debated ... . In my mind I was thinking one MIGHT be shorter than the other. Finally, I set out to answer this question. I drove to Cable and went to McNaught Road. Using a ground distance meter, ..." continue reading

Share Your Birkie Fever Story. Whether you are a skier, spectator, or volunteer, we want to hear from you. Contact Susan at [email protected].  

  Birkie� Training

How tMarathonTrainingPart-1-MattOPhotoo Train for the Birkie Trail Run
Marathon & Half Marathon - Sept. 24  

By Matt Ostrander


PART TWO - of Three-Part Series:
Hill Strategy, Course Maps, Aid Stations, and More 


Welcome to Part Two of a three-part series on how to prepare for the marathon and half marathon events at the Birkie Trail Run & Trek on September 24. Once again, Matt dispenses outstanding advice on every aspect of running the Birkie Trail. Click Here for Part Two of Matt's series.  



Training to Nordic Walk the Birkie Trek
Event -
Sept. 24  

By Linda Lemke


PART TWO - of Three-Part Series:

Building Intensity, Variety, and Race Day Food into your Workouts 


In part two of her series, Linda discusses why and how to build hills into your workouts, the value of variety, and choosing your race day food and drink. The Birkie Trek - Nordic Walk on September 24 follows the same 13.1 mile course as the half marathon running event, and Linda makes sure you're ready. Click Here for her Part Two tips.

"Fitness in 5" Video     

By Jay Tapper

We're now posting video from Jay to go along with his "Fitness in 5" weekly 5-minute radio spot and exercise.  Each of these exercises is simple yet so basic to strength, flexibility, and/or balance. Each one is also something you can do any time of day, even during a 5-minute break at work. Click Here for Jay's Anterior Shoulder Stretch and how to listen live online, Friday mornings at 10:45 on 88.9 FM.     



Birkie Ski Training Plan - August    

By Bill Pierce 

Check out this month's Birkie Training Plan by Bill Pierce, with video provided by his Fast Performance Training athletes. You'll see take a look at your Period Four strength training, roller skiing, hill bounding, and more that goes with the "Birkie Training Plans" for August. There are two plans: one is for beginner to intermediate skiers, and one is for intermediate to advanced skiers.  

 Important Dates & Events

August 13               ABSF Annual Meeting (Ballots Due by August 12)  

September 24        
Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek

October 1                Young Skier Program Grant - Application Deadline

November 30
          Next Registration Fee Deadline - All Events

January 21, 2012   
Birkie Tour

February 23-25       Birkie 2012
 The Birkie

The Birkie is a year-round lifestyle choice for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels. From its signature ski race--the legendary American Birkebeiner--the Birkie has grown into an exciting array of fitness and recreational opportunities. The 88-kilometer Birkie Trail system attracts skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite superstars. Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the Birkie is now an outdoor sports mecca, a series of great races, a fitness destination, and a Lifestyle. Ski . Run . Live!

Becker Law2009 Birkie Trail Run Half