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Three Birkie Scenarios: Shortened One-Way Race, Untimed Event or Party

(Press release)

HAYWARD, Wis. (February 21, 2017) – With unseasonable weather again today, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has announced that Birkie Week events previously scheduled for Friday, February 24 have been moved to Saturday, February 25. These events include the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races. In addition, ABSF officials have determined there are three possible scenarios for Saturday, February 25 events.

  • Scenario #1 – With some snow remaining on the trails from the American Birkebeiner Trailhead to the OO Trailhead (at Highway OO), Birkie staff are monitoring trail conditions. With hopes of measurable snow on Friday, there is a very slim chance that a one-way, timed race could be held (American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races).
  • Scenario #2 – If there is enough snow and conditions are such that 10,000 plus participants can safely ski, however unsafe for a competitive race, there is a possibility of an untimed, open-track, looped-event on the Birkie Trail (north of OO) for the American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon events.
  • Scenario #3 – If snow is unavailable, 2017 will be a Birkie, Korte & Prince Haakon like none other. Participants will be part of a first-ever winter Birkie run and street party celebration in downtown Hayward. Live music, Birkie Brew-Ski, food vendors, and a festival atmosphere!

As always, the safety of event participants is first and foremost in the minds of ABSF officials, followed by a goal of creating the best possible participant experience for all. Both things are weighed and considered with each and every decision the ABSF makes.

“The Birkie staff and board are hard at work and pulling out all the stops to make sure that every participant and visitor to the Hayward area has a Birkie experience to remember,” said Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director. “While this may not look like a typical week, it will be absolutely one to remember! We’ll have a 2017 Birkie celebration like no other with or without snow!”

Thursday, February 23

  • 10:00am – Barkie Birkie Canicross (Running Skijor Race) – Hatchery Creek Park
  • 12:00pm – Barnebirkie Adventure Fun Run – Hatchery Creek Park
  • 1:00pm – 8:00pm – Slumberland American Birkebeiner Expo – Hayward High School
  • 2:00pm – Junior Birkie Run! – Hatchery Creek Park
  • 5:30pm – Birkie Bash Pasta & Salad Buffet – Steakhouse & Lodge

Friday, February 24

  • 8:00am – Worldloppet Breakfast – Flat Creek Inn & Suites
  • 9:00am – 8:00pm – Slumberland American Birkebeiner Expo – Hayward High School
    Saturday, February 25
  • Time TBD – Slumberland American Birkebeiner Event – Location TBD
  • Time TBD – Kortelopet Event – Location TBD
  • Time TBD – Prince Haakon Event – Location TBD
  • Time TBD – Birkie Giant Ski Event– Location TBD
  • 7:00pm – Birkebeinerne (The Last King) – Park Center Theater

Sunday, February 26

  • 9:00am – Birchleggings Club Breakfast – Steakhouse & Lodge
  • 9:00am – Birkie Ski & Fat Bike Demo Event – Location TBD
  • 9:30am – Fast & Female Champ Chat – Hayward High School
  • 12:00pm – Birkebeinerne (The Last King) – Park Center Theater

Cancellations:

While much to our dismay, the following events have been canceled due to weather conditions:

  • Nikkerbeiner and Opening Ceremonies
  • Elite Sprints
  • Birkie Adaptive Ski

As conditions or plans change, we will post the latest updates on www.Birkie.com.

Birkie Announces Schedule Changes, Continues to Work on Contingency Plans

(Press release) Hayward, WI (February 21, 2017) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) today announced that after yesterday’s unseasonable rain, Duffy’s Field just outside of Hayward, WI, and the Birkie Trail south of Highway OO are no longer feasible for Slumberland American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon Events. Even with snow in the forecast, a downtown or Hayward area finish will not be reinstated. The ABSF team is working on contingency plans for Friday and Saturday events with a focus on the Birkie Trails north of Highway OO. The safety of our participants is first and foremost in our minds, followed by our goal of creating the best possible participant experience for all. Both things are weighed and considered with each and every decision we make. With that in mind, while Thursday’s events, normally held on Hayward’s snow-covered Main Street, may not look the same they are infused with #BirkieFever…

Pedersen, Smutná Victorious at Jizerská Padesatka

The eighth stage of the Ski Classics took place on Sunday, Feb. 19, with the 50-kilometer Jizerská Padesatka in Liberec, Czech Republic. There, Morton Eide Pedersen (Team BN Bank) and Petter Eliassen (Team Leaseplan) prevented Tord Asle Gjerdalen (Team Santander) from claiming his fourth victory of the series after the two broke away on the long uphill about 19 k before the finish and dropped Gjerdalen. Pedersen was able to claim the victory after winning this race back in 2015, finishing Sunday in 1:55:53.1 hours, by just 0.5 seconds ahead of Eliassen (+0.5). Gjerdalen took third, 1:13.6 minutes back, with the help of his teammate Anders Aukland, who helped Gjerdalen after the breakaway. Aukland finished fifth (+1:17.1), behind Ermil Vokuev (Russian Marathon Team) in fourth (+1:13.8). Gjerdalen said that he felt that he had some lactic acid built up in his muscles. “I had a good day today,” Pedersen said, according to a Ski Classics press release. ”I saved some energy in…

Anxiety, Forecast Temps High as Birkie Approaches

By Gavin Kentch With just over a week to go until the first marathon event of the 2017 American Birkebeiner, race officials are measuring ice thickness on Lake Hayward, groomers are taking protective action, and 13,000 skiers around the country are becoming amateur meteorologists. First, the facts. The 29-kilometer Kortelopet race is currently scheduled for next Friday, Feb. 24. The 15 k Prince Haakon is set for that afternoon. The main event, the 44th American Birkebeiner, a 50 k freestyle or 55 k classic point-to-point race from Cable to Hayward, starts at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Birkie trail “is currently in good condition with a 4-8 [inch] solid base,” Nancy Knutson, marketing and communications director at the Birkie, wrote to FasterSkier on Thursday afternoon. (That’s closer to eight inches north of OO, at roughly the midway point of the trail, and closer to four inches at points south, Birkie officials wrote…

Gjerdalen, Smutná Win Dobbiaco-Cortina; Duvillard, Gräfnings Top La Transjurassienne

— The seventh event of the Ski Classics tour took place last Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Gran Fondo Dobbiaco-Cortina in Italy. In the men’s 50-kilometer classic race, Petter Eliassen (Team Leaseplan) returned to racing and set a fast pace from the start. Joining Eliassen in the lead pack were Tord Asle Gjerdalen (Team Santander) and Morten Eide Pedersen (Team BN Bank). After the longest climb on the course, Eliassen and Gjerdalen were able to break away to battle for the victory. The last 10 k of the course were downhill, which led straight into the stadium at Fiames. At the finish line, Gjerdalen was able to outstretch Eliassen by 0.4 seconds to claim his third victory of the 2016/2017 Ski Classics season with a time of 2:04:59.3 hours. Pedersen (+1:43.1) was able to beat out his surging teammate Øystein Pettersen (+1:44.3) for third place on the podium. Gjerdalen continues to hold the yellow bib as the Ski…

Olex Ends 30-Year German Drought at König Ludwig Lauf

After warmer than usual temperatures and rain it was uncertain if the fourth stop of the Worldloppet circuit would happen or not on Sunday, Feb. 5. The organizers of the 44th König Ludwig Lauf in Oberammergau, Germany, able to work all night in order to get the conditions ready for the classic and freestyle races, which were shortened from 50 kilometers to 38 k. After Germany had been without a homegrown winner in the race for 30 years, Max Olex, of the Adidas XCS-Team (who previously raced at the University of Alaska Fairbanks), was able to end the drought in the elite men’s freestyle race, outlasting Damien Tarantola (Haute-Savoie Nordic Team) and Buttin Bastien (Haute-Savoie Nordic Team) in a photo finish. Olex (1:26:20.6) was able to outlunge Tarantola (+0.1) and Bastien (+0.8). Toni Livers (Team Gel Rossignol) was leading on the final uphill in front of the pack of 20 men, but a crash on the downhill forced him to…

Smutná Holds Off Norgren; Gjerdalen Wins Third Marcialonga

The sixth race in the Ski Classic series took place on Sunday, Jan. 29, with the 44th annual Marcialonga, a 57-kilometer classic race (this year from Mozzin to Cavalese, Italy).  The race was orginally suppoed to be 70k, but was shortened due to low snow. In the women’s race, Britta Johansson Norgen of Team Lager 157, and Katerina Smutná (Team Santander) broke away from the group early and were able to keep up the pace until the finish. Smutná was able to outlast Norgen at the finish to beat her by 0.8 seconds, taking the win in 2:22:46.4 hours. Sara Lindborg (+4:22.2) of Team Serneke rounded out the podium. Norgren had a game plan to keep a fast pace throughout the whole race so the only person that would be able to follow her was Smutná. She was able to achieve that goal, but just didn’t have enough power at the end to defend her 2016 Marcialonga title….

France Dominates Dolomitenlauf, FIS Worldloppet Cup Opener

The 43rd Dolomitenlauf opened the FIS Worldloppet Cup season last weekend in Obertilliach, Austria. This was originally scheduled to be the second stage of the International Ski Federation (FIS) marathon circuit, however the first stage at La Foulée Blanche in France was canceled earlier this month. Conditions were reported as ideal with sunshine. On the men’s side, eight out of the top 10 places all went to French skiers, with the top 10 consisting of four teams and the 10th place finisher just 30 seconds behind the winner.  Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux of the Haute-Savoie Nordic Team took the overall win in 1:39:02.8, outlasting Candide Pralong (Team GEL Interim Rossignol) by 2.2 seconds.  Perillat-Boiteux’s teammate, Loïc Guigonnet finished third (+9.9), before first-time FIS Marathon Cup competitor Kari Varis of Finland (+11.2). “Our team is very strong this season and I am happy to have this team,” Perrillat-Boiteux said, according to a FIS Worldloppet Cup press release. “I also love the competition with the Rossignol team. Of course, I am happy about…

Nygaard, Rocheva Take Vasaloppet China; Fritz Top American

Andreas Nygaard (Team Santander) and Olga Rocheva (Russian Marathon Team) took the overall victories in the Vasaloppet China, a 50-kilometer classic mass start race that covered two 25 k laps through Jingyuetan Park in Changchun, China, earlier Wednesday. The race also doubled as Stage 3 of the six-stage China Tour de Ski. Lauren Fritz (APU) placed 18th to lead the four American skiers competing in the Tour. At the front of the pack the women’s race was all Rocheva, who won in 2:29:01, nearly two minutes over Swedish skier Britta Johansson Norgren (Team Lager 157). The two were together through a halfway sprint at 25 k, according to a Visma Ski Classics press release, at which point Rocheva sped up to take the sprint, then continued her acceleration to open a gap that she kept all the way to the finish. Norgren ultimately crossed the line 1:43 back of Rocheva….

Gjerdalen, Norgren Win La Sgambeda

The Visma Ski Classics series continued this past weekend in Livigno, Italy, with the first marathon of the season, La Sgambeda. The conditions were perfect as a cold night before ensured a hard surface for skiers and the sunshine on race day guaranteed for a great 30-kilometer classic race. Both the men’s and women’s races ended with a sprint to the line. In the men’s competition, the lead group stayed together until the final climb. There, Norway’s Tord Asle Gjerdalen (Team Santander) and Russia’s Ilya Chernousov (Team Pioneer Investment) passed Norway’s Petter Eliassen (Team LeasePlan Go), who had led most of the race. Gjerdalen and Chernousov came to the finish neck and neck, but Gjerdalen was able to take the win by 1.3 seconds. Eliassen, who won last week, finished third, 2.7 seconds behind the winner. “It was a tough race and I just tried to stay behind John Kristian Dahl and let Petter do all the work,”…