Second Annual Birkie Tour attracts participants despite the cold

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 24, 2011 8:30 am

A frigid morning greeted skiers at the start of the second annual BirkieTour held on Saturday, January 22, 2011. Temperatures were just below zero as skiers started the Tour from County Highway OO in Seeley, Wisconsin.

“Over 640 skiers registered for our second annual BirkieTour,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF). “We were afraid the cold temperatures would keep people away, but that wasn’t the case as 50 new people entered the event Friday evening and this morning.”

“Many skiers indicated that after having such a great time at last year’s event they weren’t going to let the cold weather deter them from participating this year,” said Zuelsdorff. “Although the course was slow, skiers indicated they had a lot of fun skiing the relaxed, untimed event with their family and friends.”

BirkieTour skiers started the event at County Highway OO in Seeley, skied north on the Birkie Trail, turned around at the Fire Tower aid station, then traveled south on the Birkie Classic Trail. Skiers completing the short tour finished their 21 kilometer event at “OO” while those participating in the long tour skied 42 kilometers 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, hot dogs and cookies donated by Marketplace Foods and Swiss Miss hot chocolate.

Zuelsdorff said skiers from as far away as Tennessee, Florida, Texas and California participated in the event. International skiers from Scotland, Russia and Canada also participated in the event.

“The BirkieTour is an annual event for the American Birkebeiner,” said Zuelsdorff. “We
plan to host the third annual BirkieTour on Saturday, January 21, 2012. Registration for the event will be available this spring at”

The BirkieTour is sponsored by Hammer Nutrition, Becker Law, Gear West, Marketplace Foods, GU Energy Gel, Olympic Granola, New Moon Ski & Bike Shop and ActivEdge.

More than 8,000 skiers are expected to participate in the 38th anniversary American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet. Another 3,000 are expected 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.