First annual cross country ski Birkie Tour a huge success

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 24, 2010 1:50 pm

HAYWARD, Wis., January 23, 2010 – Despite a bleak weather forecast skiers of the first annual BirkieTour enjoyed a great day on the trail. The predicted ice and rain held off until the last skiers finished the event.
“Over 550 skiers registered for our first BirkieTour,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF). “We couldn’t be more pleased with the number of participants.”
“Skiers told us they had a great time,” said Zuelsdorff. “The BirkieTour offers skiers the opportunity to ski a fun, relaxed, untimed event on the American Birkebeiner Trail and Birkie Classic Trail with their family and friends.”

BirkieTour skiers started the event at Telemark Resort, skied on the Kortelopet course and then entered the American Birkebeiner trail system. Skiers skiing the short BirkieTour skied 22K and finished at the “OO” trailhead in Seeley while those participating in the long tour skied 44K and finished at Hatchery Creek Park in Hayward.
Skiers enjoyed a supported trail with mini-aid stations and volunteers who distributed water and HEED electrolyte drink. All Tour participants received refreshments at the finish lines including chili and hot dogs donated by Marketplace Foods, cookies and Swiss Miss hot chocolate.     

Zuelsdorff said skiers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Canada, and from as far away as Russia participated in the event.

“The BirkieTour will be an annual event for the American Birkebeiner,” said Zuelsdorff. “We plan to host the second annual BirkieTour on Saturday, January 22, 2011. Registration for the event will be available this spring.

The BirkieTour is sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft 64, Hammer Nutrition, Becker Law, ClifBar, Gear West, ActivEdge, GU Energy Gel and Marketplace Foods. 

The 37th anniversary American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet events are expected to draw 7,500 skiers. Another 2,500 are anticipated for shorter races and events. To learn more about North America’s largest and most prestigious cross country ski race, log on to, email or call 715/634-5025.

About the Birkie:  Celebrating its 37th year, the American Birkebeiner  February 25-27, 2010, is the largest and most prestigious cross country ski marathon in North America. Spanning more than 50 kilometers from Cable to Hayward, the Birkie is part of the Worldloppet series of 15 international races, and part of the lives of citizen skiers from around the world. Sponsors of Birkie include Subaru, Becker Law, Johnson Bank, Swiss Miss, Salomon, Hammer Energy, Sawyer County Record and other businesses throughout the region and country.