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November 14, 2011
                                 Volume 10 - Issue 1

Why Wait for the Expo?

Birkie Quick Links
Birkie/Korte Registration
Skier Confirmation
Birkie Merchandise
About Us

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 Birkie Lodging 

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!


Snow dust in Cable and Hayward this week. The ground is not frozen and high temps above freezing are expected all week, but this is a start!


I hope your preparations for the Winter and the ski season are going well. More than 7,800 skiers are already registered and we will likely fill to our limit of 9,000 for the Birkie and Korte within the next few weeks. Sign up now if you don't want to miss out on skiing what will likely be another great race this February.


Don't forget our BirkieTour on January 21. This supported tour provides a great way to see and ski the trail with friends, whether you're preparing for the Birkie or just looking for a great ski time on a wonderful set of trails. 


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


Stay fit and see you on the trails,


Ned Zuelsdorff

Executive Director

 Event Registration

Only 1,200 spots remaining in the Birkie and Korte 

Planning to Register? Do It Now! 

Birkie Lead Groups 2011
A record-breaking number of skiers have already registered. The total number of skiers now registered for the Birkebeiner and Kortelopet has now surpassed 7,800. The cap for these two races is 9,000, so we are less than 1,200 skiers away from closing registration for 2012. We expect to fill within the next few weeks. The Prince Haakon has a cap of 400, and right now it is only 25 percent full. So, there is room in all three events, but anyone interested should make their decision and register as soon as possible.


Save $15 when you register for these races on or before Nov. 30:  

Wave Placement for the Birkebeiner and Kortelopet is based on a first received, first placed basis. If your wave fills, you will be placed in the next available wave.

Waves Updates and Closings - Birkie and

  • Wave 2 - Skate:    Capped and closed
  • Wave 3 - Skate:    Capped and closed
  • Wave 3 - Classic:  Capped and closed
  • Wave 4 - Classic:  Capped and closed
Important: After you register, be sure to check the Skier Confirmation page.

For All Other Birkie Week Events:
The other Birkie events held during race week typically stay open longer. But for events with a maximum number of teams--like the Giant Ski and Barkie Birkie--consider signing up as soon as youBarkieBirkie can.

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.


Questions? Please email or call 715-634-5025. 


 Host International Skiers  

Skiers in Need of Your Hospitality

Every year the Birkie attracts hundreds of international skiers, many of whom are looking for alternative lodging given the substantial cost to get to and participate in the Birkie. Likewise, many Birkie skiers from the U.S. regularly travel overseas to ski the other Worldloppet races. Hospitality in individual homes is often a much-appreciated part of this endeavor and the overall experience.  


If you are reasonably close to the Hayward/Cable, WI, area, or have a house or cabin here and would like to open your home to an international guest or two during Birkie 2012, please contact the Birkie office and let us know. Each skier is ready to pay for private accommodations. Those who already participate in hosting these skiers have made some lifelong friends and have traveled to France, Italy, Austria and elsewhere to stay with them in their homes as well. Email or call us at 715-634-5025.

  Birkie Lodging 2012

Choose From the Following:        

_ Local Hotels and Resorts

Please visit the Birkie Lodging page on our website under "Getting Here" for a complete list of where you can stay for the Birkie. It includes links to lists of hotels, motels, and resorts in the Cable, Hayward, Ashland, and Rice Lake areas of Wisconsin.


_ The Birkie Dorm 

On this same Birkie Lodging page, you will also find information and a link to reserve a spot in the Birkie Dorm, which means camping out in the Hayward Middle School gym. Bring a sleeping bag, air mattress, etc. Showers are available in the school. Waxing space is not available in the school. One-time Bus Transportation from the school to the start will be provided at 6:00 a.m. 

_ Birkie Lodging Directory - Private Homes
For additional information on local hotels, motels, resorts, as well as private homes, please request the Birkie Lodging Directory at, or call 715-634-5025.


Next Event: The BirkieTour
January 21, 2012

Join us for the 3rd Annual BirkieTour being held on Saturday, January 21, 2012! The "Tour" is pure fun and a great way to experience the wonderful Birkie Trail system. It's perfect whether you're a:

  • A Birkie skier looking for a long, supported training day,
  • A skier thinking of trying the Birkie event, but unsure you're ready, or
  • A skier who loves to ski, but is not interested in ski racing.
The BirkieTour is an untimed, non-competitive, "open-track" style event open to skiers age 13 and older. Click Here for BirkieTour information and registration.

  Birkie® News

sale tag
2011 American Birkebeiner Video  


"Improve Your Skate Skiing:
Watch Elite Birkie Skiers on DVD" 

Check out
this article in Silent Sports magazine about using the 2011 Birkie video to improve your skate skiing technique. It describes how watching elite Birkie skiers in their "survival" pace (shot from the lead snowmobile) is a great way for the average skier to learn to ski in a relaxed, efficient manner ... and faster. It includes specific tips on glide. See these skiers tackle each section of the Birkie Trail. Two hours.  BirkieVideo2011

Read the article
then get the video,
to improve your skate skiing technique this winter.
Now on sale for only $19.95! (regular price is $24.95).    


Click Here to Buy Online.

(Available while supplies last.)
2 Hours. Covers the entire Birkie Trail!

Be a Volunteer at the Largest Ski Race in North America!     

Be among the 2,000 volunteers who work behind the scenes or up front to make the Birkie happen year after year. You can help out at the Birkie office during race week, or be part of the action on race day. Either way, we're always looking for good people. Select from the areas listeHeatmax Handwarnersd on the Volunteer page of our website ... and you'll be among those celebrating at the post-Birkie Volunteer Party. Please contact us if you are interested. Email us at or call 715-634-5025.  


Many thanks to the HeatMax Corporation, which has generously donated many cases of its Hothands® hand warmers and toe warmers to keep our outside volunteers comfortable, no matter what the weather brings this year.  


Ski the Birkie While Your Kids Go to Camp  

Once again parents participating in the Birkie, Kortelopet, or Prince Haakon have a great option for child care at Conserve Schoolthis year's American Birkebeiner 2012. For the fifth straight year Conserve School of Land O' Lakes, WI, will provide Camp Birkie for Kids. The Camp is held at the Cable Community Center, just minutes from Telemark Lodge. Learn more about the camp and how to register your child on our Camp Birkie information page.  


Olympic Medalist to Ski Birkie for MS Cure   

A six-time Olympic medalist and recognized as one of Norway's Top Ten Nordic skiers
of all time, Vegard Ulvang will participate in this year's American Birkebeiner as a "Research Ambassador" for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Wisconsin Chapter.

Learn how you can ... win a chance to ski
with Ulvang the Thursday before the Birkie. You can also win a trip to Norway. Plus, you can "Win With Your Pin" at the Birkie and Korte finish lines.

Get Complete De
tails online or email  

MS Logo   


2012 Birkie Apparel Now Available Online

  2012 Birkie T-Shirt Red 

The new Birkie sweatshirt, short- and long-sleeve T-Shirts, hat, headband, pin, the custom Birkie Buff, and more. Take a look around the Birkie Store online or stop by the Birkie Store at our offices, the end of Main Street in downtown Hayward, WI.

FINAL CALL for the Warrior and Inga Contest:   

Deadline - November 15

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is looking for two capable cross country skiers to dress as Birkebeiner warriors and ski the 54 kilometers from Cable to Hayward on traditional wooden skis for this year's Birkie on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. The ABSF is also looking for a skier to depict Inga, the mother of the baby Prince. Like the Warriors, Inga will wear traditional clothing and ski on wooden skis.   



Ski for Race Credit
On race day the two warriors ski the Birkie. Inga may opt to ski either the whole Birkie or cut off to the Korte. If you ski as a warrior or Inga, you will receive credit for completing that race.

FREE Entry Following Year
Each winner will also receive a free 2013 Birkie or Korte race entry.  

Click Here for details on how to enter. All three winners will be announced on December 10, 2011. Application Deadline is November 15, 2011


Ski Strong Scholarship:
Deadline for Entries - December 1, 2011
Dave Langraf
Ski Strong Foundation The Ski Strong Foundation is created in memory of Dave Landgraf, a Birkebeiner Founder, whose life was greatly affected by the wonderful sport of cross country skiing. He skied every Birkie from 1973-2011.

Ski Strong Scholarship
The Ski Strong Foundation wishes to provide free entries for both the Kortelopet and Birkebeiner races. Any young people wishing to ski either race may apply. The requirements are you must be from the state of WI and be 20 years or younger on the day of the race.

Click Here for details and how to apply for the Ski Strong Scholarship. Application Deadline is December 1, 2011

  Get Updates Faster 

Facebook-Birkie Image
Get updates and news as it happens, post your own comments, and meet more Birkie friends. Check out the official Birkie Facebook page and "Like" us to get your Birkie fix on a regular basis.


       FORUM       Find training partners in your area, get

started on roller skis, train with little or no snow, share a recipe. Do it all on the Birkie Forum. Ask questions ... and answer them! The Birkie is no longer just an event; it's a lifestyle. Make the most of being part of this community. Bookmark the Birkie Forum.



American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation  

Meet Our Board of Directors

Our ABSF Board Members are a diverse group of professionals who each has a deep connection to and experience with the Birkie. See their stories. What they do behind the scenes contributes to your Birkie experience.
Click Here to get to know the Birkie Board.Warrior Logo


Become a ABSF Member

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

  Birkie Trail Friends

Kilometer Markers Available to Sponsor        


For several months we've been featuring the stories behind all those K-marker plaques on the Birkie and Korte Trails. See these stories and  photos on our Birkie Trail Friends page.  


You, too, can become part of the effort to protect the most famous ski trail in North America. Annual Birkie Trail maintenance costs currently exceed $150,000 each year. Your sponsorship as a Birkie Trail Friend

Birkie Work Day.qt
Birkie Trail Work Day -  Erosion Control
- Play Video -

will help meet that need. All work is done by volunteers. You can help with that, too (see video). Trail maintenance includes: 

  • Erosion control
  • Seeding 
  • Mowing 
  • Snow grooming 
  • Repair of trail gates and
    trail facilities

 Many Birkie and Korte K markers have been sponsored, but more Ks are still available or up for renewal. Learn more at Birkie Trail Friends

  Birkie® Fever

 Bjorn's Final Birkie

By Shane Kitzman, Northfield NewsBjorn's Final Birkie , MN

Skiing under the name of his fallen friend Bjorn Norgaard (above), Ben Cooper made sure Norgaard's adventurous soul finished the 38th annual Birkebeiner.

... For Norgaard, the prime of his life was cut short. Norgaard was out skiing and training near Ashland, Wis., late at night on Feb. 19, one week before he would tackle his fifth Birkie, when authorities said a car struck him. He died at the age of 23. Just days after the... Continue reading

Send us your Birkie Fever story. Whether you are a skier, spectator, or volunteer, we want to hear from you. Send to  

  Birkie® Training   

ActivEdge Gym
Birkie Clinic, Seeley, WI - Nov. 19

Birkie Clinic - Nov. 19
Presented by ActivEdge
- Jay Tapper and Terry Tansey 

Here's a great chance to evaluate and fine-tune your current fitness program as you head into ski season. Learn what exercises you can add to your training to give you the edge, and more. For all ages and abilities. This clinic takes place at the ActivEdge gym at the beautiful Lenroot Lodge in Seeley, WI. Only $15 per person. Get all the details on the Birkie website under
Birkie Clinics.

For more information,
email or call 218-393-8767.


Listen to Jay live on WOJB 88.9 FM, Friday mornings at 10:45 and visit his weekly "Fitness In 5" videos.       



Outside Magazine Online Outside Magazine Features
 Birkie Training Plan

- Developed by Coach Bill Pierce 

We usually use this space to feature Coach Bill Pierce's monthly Birkie Training Plan. This month we're going to let Outside Magazine Online do it for us. See this main article plus the following:

1. Training Plan                                                   
Bill Pierce
Coach Bill Pierce

Can You Ski the Birkie or Korte with Limited Experience or On-Snow time?

This question from skiers, athlete's, Outside magazine, and others comes up a lot. See Coach Bill Pierce's answer on our Birkie Training Articles page. Also, check out Bill's month-by-month installments of the Birkie Training Plan on the Birkie website under "Birkie Life."
Donna Marlor
Donna Marlor

Eat Your Way to a Better Birkie  

Feature Article:

"Making Muscle Faster" by Donna Marlor 


We've always had a great selection of nutrition articles and recipes on the Birkie website. Now we're taking it to the next level on our all-new Birkie Nutrition page. We will also be posting Q&As on Facebook, and more as we start the countdown to Birkie 2012.

Meet our newest contributor, Donna Marlor, who you may know from her articles in Silent Sports, Master Skier, and Race Center magazines.           

Charlene Harkins

Charlene Harkins has provided many articles to both the Birkie website and Birch Scroll magazine over the years. Her articles on glycemic loading and other Birkie secrets have been some of our most sought-after training information on our site.


 See what each of these nutrition experts brings to the table in terms of guidance and tips on "Food as Fuel!" Go to Birkie Nutrition.  


 Important Dates & Events
November 15         Warrior Contest Entry Deadline 

         Next Registration Fee Deadline

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