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February 8, 2013
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Greetings from the American Birkebeiner! 

Hi Skiers and Friends!


Just 14 days to the 40th American Birkebeiner and we will be ready. We hope your preparations have gone well with the recent snowfalls. Those of you skiing will be standing on the start line with an all-time record 10,000 Birkie, Korte and Haakon skiers.


The new snow has really improved our course. Lake Hayward is in good shape, and we are expecting full race distances with a Birkie finish on Main Street in Hayward. We have our fingers crossed and hope that Mother Nature continues to cooperate.


The greatest cross-country ski event in North American is waiting for you. Get here early and enjoy all the festivities. See you soon.


Thanks for reading, and as always, we welcome your comments. You can reach me at

Stay Fit, Think SNOW and see you on the Trails!



Ned Zuelsdorff

Executive Director

 Birkie News

Thank you and Farewell to Ned Zuelsdorff

Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, has announced his retirement, effective mid-may, 2013. Ned has served as the executive director of the ABSF for the past eight years, starting in 2005. "I have really enjoyed my job with the Birkie, thanks to our staff, volunteers, and our skiers and runners," said Zuelsdorff.

Sue Scheer, president of the ABSF board of directors said, "during Ned's tenure as executive director, he has created many new events, expanded and improved the Birkie Trails, and nearly doubled participation in the American Birkebeiner events." Click Here to read more
Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

 Skier Details

Please Read this Section for Important Updates
about Birkie Week and Birkie Event

New, Speedier, Bib Pickup: 

Thank you for participating in the 2013 American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, or Prince Haakon. New this year, to help expedite your bib and packet pickup, you will be sent an email that you MUST PRINT AND BRING along with a VALID PHOTO ID to bib pickup. Your email will include your skier confirmation information. Please check your email for accuracy. If there is any discrepancy between the information on your skier confirmation card and the email you receive, please email the Birkie immediately at

Photo ID: Everyone must bring a valid photo ID to bib pickup



_ Birkie / Korte Cut-Off Times

All Skiers Must Leave the Start by 10:15 a.m.
 and cross the following cut-offs at the times listed.

_ Hot Coffee at Mosquito Brook Food Station

Thanks to Backroads Coffee & Tea of Hayward, WI, Birkie skiers can grab some custom roasted, great tasting coffee at the Mosquito Brook food station to keep them going for the final stretches (and hills) of the race. Thanks, Backroads!  


_ Getting Here ... and Back Again

Whether you need transportation from and back to an airport or even Rice Lake, WI, want to rent a car, or want to know about some Birkie travel discounts, please see our  "Getting Here" page on If you have additional questions, give us a call at 715-634-5025.


_ Race Day Child Care - at Camp Birkie

Once again parents participating in the Birkie or KortelopetConserve School have a great option for  child care at this year's Birkebeiner. For the fifth straight year Conserve School of Land O' Lakes, WI. will be hosting "Camp Birkie for Kids"

Contact Cathy Palmer:
(715) 547-1300 

Vist the School Website: 

 40th Kick-Off!


Ready, Set ... CELEBRATE 
The 40th Annual Birkie!
Feb, 21-23

                       5:00 p.m. Nikkerbeiner Wooden Ski 5K

                       6:00 p.m. Welcome, Torch Lighting, Parade of Nations
                                       Great door prizes! 
                       6:30 p.m. "Blast With The Past" Tent Party!
                       7:00 p.m. Family Luminary 5/10K Fun Ski

Awards and ... Birkie Bash! 
Live Band, Food, and More 
The Best Post-Race Party in Town!  

See more details below!
 1.) Retro 5K

THURSDAY - 5:00 p.m.

Wooden Ski 5K 

Presented By Out There Nordic Sports    
Break out the wooden skis, knickers, and bamboo poles ...

This retro 5K fun ski is your chance to re-live the earliest days of the American Birkebeiner, in the high-tech gear and clothing of the 1970s. This untimed event will start and finish on Main Street, right before the Welcome Ceremony, Torch Lighting, and Parade of Nations.

Prizes at the finish line for the best Retro Birkie look!



For More Information
 2.) Tent Party!




"Blast with the Past"
First-Ever "Birkie Fever" Tent Party!

Presented By Northern Lakes IGA


Immediately following the Welcome Ceremony, Torch Lighting, and Parade of Nations on Main Street, don't miss the "Blast With The Past" Tent Party in the big Celebration Tent, near the Birkie finish line. Great food, a beer cash bar, hot chocolate, coffee, and more--all in our giant, heated Celebration Tent!  

For More Information and to Sign Up
Space limited to first 300 guests

 3.) Birkie BASH!

 SATURDAY - See Times Below
Best Post-Race Party in Town!

Awards and ... The Birkie Bash!


Featuring the "FLAT BROKE BLUES BAND" who play a great mix of rock, classic blues, and R&B. Don't miss this year's Birkie Bash.

Saturday Evening Schedule of Events:

5:30  Native American Dancers and
         Marching Band kick-off
6:00  Food & Beverages for sale in
         Telemark Lodge lobby
6:30  Race Day slide show
7:00  Awards for the Birkie, Korte
          and Prince Haakon



List of BIG Door Prizes, Including Full Ski Packages!

 Skier Services

        Ski Demo and Waxing Services


In addition to checking out every booth at this year's expo--there are LOTS of good ones--here are two more things to do during Birkie Week:  


On-Snow Ski Demo  
"OO" Trailhead
Feb. 24 - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

 Try the all that equipment you'll be checking out at the Birkie Expo, right on the Birkie Trail! Everyone is welcome--skiers of all levels, family, and friends.
(See the top of the page)



For the Birkie


Waxing services for the Birkie are available from Birkie sponsors at the Birkie Expo, in ski shops in Hayward and Seeley, and at various drop-off locations. You can even ship your skis for waxing so they are ready for you when you get here. See details below to learn more.


Check out all four options to find 
  the best match for you and your skis!



 Check Your Mail

Official Birkie Race Guide ... Coming Soon!

If you are a registered skier, your Official Birkie Race Guide is in the mail and on the way. It's small enough for skiers, family, and friends to carry and have handy all during Birkie race week.

Check It Out For: 

_ Bib pick-up locations for all events
_ All event times and locations
_ Best places to watch the Birkie
_ Special Lost & Found instructions
_ And, much more!

Need more info? Contact the Birkie: 

 Birkie Skiers
 for Cures   

Start Fundraising Now!

 With your help, JDRF, the Birkie's new "Skiers for Cures" partner, will continue the research that will lead to better treatments, and eventually a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Great Fundraising Rewards!

  • Raise $150 and earn a Team JDRF Cross-Country ski hat    
  • Raise $250 and get an entry into a drawing to win a trip to Norway (prize includes entry for two people in the 2014 Birkebeinerrennet in Norway, three nights lodging and airfare)     
  • Go the distance and be one of the Top Ten Fundraisers and receive a complimentary 2014
    American Birkebeiner registration. 


See how you can "Ski for a Cure"
Not a skier but want to help? You can raise funds, too!


 Birkie Fever

Letter to a Friend

On Training with
Lack of Snow

Hey Jay,

I certainly understand your frustration with our lack of snow on which to train. And I understand your decision not to go to the Birkie because of that.

Nevertheless, as a guy who wants to be optimistic enough to go fishing for Moby Dick carrying tartar sauce, I am going to take a minute to address some of your concerns going forward. Because the Birkie is not just a race. It is a metaphor for life.

Like life, snow also is unreliable. About half the time, Continue Reading.

 Birkie Store


First-Ever Birkie Skate & Classic T's!
What better way to commemorate taking on the Birkie challenge than with these first-time ever "50K" and "54K" T-shirts. They are shown here worn by, you guessed it, Bill Pierce, the Birkie's Chief of Trail. Bill and his crew are the ones who are out there right now, taking all that fresh snow and making those Birke trails spectacular! 
Shop Online or Visit the Birkie Expo!
Thurs., Feb 21 - 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fri, Feb. 22 - 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
 NEW Event


Click Image Above for More Info!
 Get the Latest

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as it happens!


American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation  

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.


Become a Member

Do you ever wonder how the Birkie gets pulled off year after year with great success? The staff, Board of Directors, a huge network of volunteers, and the communities of Hayward and Cable pour their hearts and souls into the events every year.   


The ABSF was formed in 1984 when a group of local business people realized that strong support would ensure the race's future for years to come.  Members are the backbone of the organization because they alone elect the ABSF board.  You can show your support and take a bit of "ownership" in the race by becoming an ABSF member.  Individual memberships are $25 annually, $40 per family, and $50 per business. Click Here to learn more. 

 Important Dates
February 21-23, 2013   
 Birkie 2013 - Our 40th Anniversary!

March 9, 2013                Fat Bike Birkie

September 21, 2013      Birkie Trail Run & Trek

American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

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.

Becker Law2009 Birkie Trail Run Half