Kids Glide Across Barnebirke Finish Line

Thousands of Skiers Brave Cold, Snow for Race

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Thousands of competitors are skiing their way into Hayward, and Friday the kids got to cross the finish line at the Barnebirkie.

Outdoor lovers are grabbing their poles and clicking into their skis for the Birkie.

Friday afternoon kids, three to 13, invaded Hayward’s Main Street for their own race.

In Hayward, skiing is just part of the culture and it starts at a very young age.
Most kids are experiencing crossing the finish line for the first time.

When you’re six it’s pretty hard to describe what your first big race is like.

“It was awesome!” said 6-year-old skier Emily Jahns.

For some kids finishing the race is a big accomplishment, but for others it’s just another day on skis.

“I just skied a little bit all the way over to here,” said 7-year-old Henry Jahns from Milwaukee.

It’s quite the sight to watch a thousand young competitors click on their miniature skis and glide.

“These young kids from Hayward just get into it and you’ll see the three, four, five-year-olds that just know what they’re doing,” laughed 14 year Birkie competitor Mike Wiegel. “It’s amazing.”

When you’re trying to move quickly down Main Street in front of a rowdy crowd it’s likely you’ll take a tumble or two, but with age comes experience.

“It was like I was doing a running race, but only on skis,” said Henry Jahns.

To these young athletes the Barnebirkie isn’t about coming in first place.

It’s about finishing and having fun while doing it.

“It’s like I’m in a big race,” said Jahns, “which I was!”

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