500 Plus attend Birke half-marathon

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 26, 2009 6:09 pm

Early fall colors and great weather welcomed over 500 runners and walkers to the 7th annual Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek held on Saturday, September 26.  Jakob Wartman, Duluth, Minn. captured the first place honors in the Birkie Trail Run half marathon.  The women’s division was won by Maria Grossi, Hayward, Wisc. Wartman captured the championship title today after running 13.1 miles on the Birkie Trail from County Highway OO in Seeley, Wisc. to Hatchery Park in Hayward, Wisc. in a time of 1:17:33.9. Grossi captured the women’s championship title with a time of 1:27:12.9.


The 26.2 mile Marathon Relay includes categories for 3- and 6-person Open, Women’s and Mixed teams. Teams are handicapped based on participant ages and genders to even the fun oriented competition. Forty four teams participated in the Marathon Relay


In the 6-person Team Relay events, Team Pressed Rats-6 took first place honors in the open division in a time of 2:36:29. The Women’s 6-person Relay event was won by team Seeley Striders in 3:06:58. The 6-person Mixed Team winner was Team Riverbrook in 2:53:01.

The 3-person Team Relay divisions were led by Team Pressed Rats-3 taking first place in the open division in a time of 2:41:22. The Women’s 3-person Relay event was won by team Seeley Divas in 3:18:57. The 3-person Mixed Team winner was Team Hill Crushers in 2:58:36.

The 5K Fun Run/Walk held at Hatchery Creek Park was won by Adam Loomis of Eau Claire, Wisc., in a time of 20:08.7. First place in the Women’s division was Megan Deisz of Minneapolis, Minn., finishing in 26:42.8.


The untimed 21K Nordic Walk starting at County Highway OO and finishing at Hatchery Creek Park had over 100 entrants. Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, said runners and walkers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa and from as far away as New York, New Jersey and South Carolina, had great conditions for the 7th anniversary event.“The Birkie Trail Run events have continued to grow each year,” said Zuelsdorff. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout of participants and spectators.”



“The Trail Run events offer a great opportunity for the American Birkebeiner to showcase the beautiful trail system in Bayfield and Sawyer Counties,” Zuelsdorff said. “We want people to know that although we offer an excellent trail for cross country skiing in the winter months the trail is also available for running, walking, and biking the rest of the year. We encourage residents and visitors to use the trail as part of their year round fitness routine.”


The 2010 Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek is scheduled for September 25, 2010 and will include a new and challenging event.“Next year we will add a 26.2 mile individual marathon to the events,” stated Zuelsdorff. “Many runners have been asking us to provide the ultimate challenge, a running marathon on the Birkie Trail. The Trail Run Marathon will be open to participants age 18 and older.