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Wild Rumpus Sports

American Birkebeiner Coverage Compiled on Birkie Site

FasterSkier was in northern Wisconsin for nearly a week leading up to the 2012 American Birkebeiner. All articles through Saturday, Feb. 25, are listed on under “Behind the Scenes at Birkie 2012.”

Elliott, Brooks Notch Birkie Victories; Dubay Disqualified (Updated)

Note: This post has been updated to reflect Joe Dubay’s disqualification for racing in the wrong bib. Dubay finished first in the classic race, but was wearing the bib of his teammate at the College of Saint Scholastica, Chris Parr. HAYWARD, Wis. — U.S. Ski Team member Tad Elliott and Holly Brooks of Alaska Pacific University outlasted their elite competition at the 39th American Birkebeiner on Saturday to win the men’s and women’s 50 k skate races, respectively. Elliott broke away from the pack with about 15 kilometers to go, opening up a gap to more than 30 seconds with 6 k remaining. He beat former CXC teammate Matt Liebsch (Team Strong Heart/Team Birkie) by 13.7 seconds with a winning time of 2:04.48.5. Brian Gregg (CXC) was third (+14.8), two-tenths of a second ahead of Canadian Michael Somppi (NDC Thunder Bay). In the women’s race, Brooks beat Caitlin Gregg (CXC) to…

Follow the Birkie Live

While FasterSkier will be tweeting as much as possible from the 39th American Birkebeiner (@fasterskier) on Saturday, this Birkie Live webcast is also available via CXC. If you happen to miss the races starting at 8 a.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern), check out archived videos here. (Note: FasterSkier live updates will be based on cell service, which is non-existent for at least the first half of the race. Be sure to check back and read the race recaps on Saturday).

What’s the Wax? Birkie Tips

HAYWARD, Wis. — The American Birkebeiner expo was jumping with athletes on Friday afternoon, many of which buzzed around industry tables seeking advice from ski professionals. What’s the wax? With temperatures expected to be in the 20’s later Saturday morning, most everyone was recommending blue.   Here are a few tips from the service pros as seen on their websites or expo newsletters: Boulder Nordic Sport: Ski Selection: Early waves: med to stiff flex cold ski, Later Waves: Medium flex Cold Ski. Stone Grinds: Skating S1.3 (CV0), S1.2 (S1-0x), S0.2 (0.55), S2.2 (S2-1x), Classic: C1.2 (XTi2), C2.2 (Li2), C0.2 (ZR1XL). Base Layer: SkiGo LF Graphite Race Paraffin: Holmenkol Matrix Blue or Ski*Go HF Blue Fluoro Powder: Holmenkol Mid 08 or Solda HP05 or Ski*Go C105 Topcoat: Holmenkol Speedblock Cold Structure: Holmenkol Structure Tool (one roller) or Finite L04/AF10 Kick: Clean the kick zone, rough up kick zone with sandpaper, iron…

Birkie Elite Sprint Video

Video of the 2012 Birkie Elite Sprints is now available to watch. The sprints were won by Jennie Bender (CXC) and Dmitriy Ozerskiy. Watch the video here

Ammar and Swank Win Freestyle Gatineau Loppet

The second consecutive day of racing got underway today at the 34th annual Gatineau Loppet  under blue skies.  Again the competition for the top step on the podium was close and hard fought.  In the men’s 51km race it was Duluth, Minnesota’s Adam Swank who took the sprint finish by four seconds and by the same margin it was Canmore, Canada’s Amanda Ammar that claimed the women’s crown. In the women’s race Ammar crossed the line in 2:24:55, just four seconds ahead of Canmore’s Andrea Dupont.  Robyn Anderson of Stowe, Colorado took the final step of the podium in 2:26:34. The men’s 51km race was just as close as Swank finished in 2:06:52, just besting Anchorage’s Lars Flora.  Pate Newman (Canmore, Canada) captured third in the same time as Flora – 2:06:56. In the 27.5km freestyle race it was a pair of Ottawa skiers that claimed the top hardware as…

Larinova and Enevoldson Win Gatineau Loppet 51km Classic

For the first time in five years great conditions allowed for the full course to be used for this 34th Gatineau Loppet. With temperatures just below freezing Tatiana Larinova (Irkutsk, Russia) skied to a three minute win in the women’s 51km classic race, finishing in 3:21:23.  Ottawa’s Carley Kenwell captured second in 3:24:36, while Rimouski’s Louise Martineay rounded out the podium in 3:25.:05. In the men’s 51km classic race Canmore’s Jon Arne Enevoldson out sprinted Rosemere’s Phil Shaw to win by just two seconds in a time of 2:37:45, while former UVM standout Juergen Uhl (Burlington, Vermont) claimed third in 2:39:59. In the women’s 31km classic race Michelle Workun-Hill (Chelsea) posted the best time in 1:27:33, while Samuel Dostie-Ménard (Gatineau) took the men’s crown in 1:18:56. Festivities at the Gatineau Loppet continue tomorrow when the freestyle races get started. Complete Results 

2012 Unofficial Birkie Guide Website Launched

For the past two years, Ari Ofsevit has published an unofficial guide to the American Birkebeiner in the form of of a blog post. The guide provided all sorts of useful information, from logistics to trail updates. This year Ari has raised the bar, creating a dedicated website for the run-up to the 2012 Birkie. “I’ve fleshed out the blog post in to a more-full-blown website,, which should help new skiers navigate the maze and old skiers chuckle about wave start times and rutted hills,” Ofsevit said. “In other words, I have a severe case of the fever. And I’m trying my best to be contagious.” “As race day nears, I’m keeping tabs, daily, on the long-range forecast and posting the ‘weather speculation’ on the site. I’m also keeping an eye on changes to registration, start times and trail closures and posting them as they come about, as well as…

Mora Vasaloppet Canceled

The 2012 Mora Vasaloppet has been canceled due to lack of snow. The following is a press release from the organizers. Bright sunshine and rapidly warming temperatures Saturday brought the Vasaloppet USA board of directors to a conclusion they all knew would happen if forecasted warm and sunny weather arrived; cancellation of the 2012 40th anniversary race scheduled for February 12. Sunny skies and near 40 degree temperatures are forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which will melt what snow remains on the Knife Lake back-up ski course. The forecast for next week also meant there would be no race-saving snowfall to replace the snow lost over the weekend. Clear skies and warm temperatures were forecast for last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but clouds and cooler temperatures preserved the snow that remained on Knife Lake after last Tuesday’s high temperatures. The cancellation of next Sunday’s five races means the Miniloppet,…

Liebsch and Gregg Win City of Lakes Loppet

Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart/Team Birkie) outsprinted Brian Gregg (CXC) in a shortened and relocated City of Lakes Loppet to take the victory in Minneapolois, Minnesota. Eric Wolcott (CXC) was third nearly 1:30 behind. In the women’s race, Caitlin Gregg (CXC) skied to a clear victory over teammate Jennie Bender, winning by 2:22. Natalia Yakimova was third 10 second behind Bender. Gregg’s winning time ranked ninth overall in the field of 596, just behind Olympian John Bauer. The race was relocated in its entirety to Wirth Park, due to low snow and deteriorating ice conditions on the lakes. The distance in the premier freestyle race was reduced to 17k. The 2012 Loppet Festival consisted of numerous events over two days, including the Finn Sisu sprints on Saturday and a classic race Sunday morning. City of Lake Loppet Results