2016 American Birkebeiner Ski Race Started in Cable Wisconsin

It's North America's Biggest Ski Race

Thousands of people, both spectators and skiers, gathered for the American Birkebeiner ski race started in Cable. 

The first Birkebeiner ski race was held in Norway in 1932, and was inspired by a story in Norwegian history, where skiers smuggled a young prince through harsh mountains and forests to safety, while the country was torn in a civil war.

The American Birkebeiner started in 1973, and is the largest ski race in North America.  In Honor of the roots of the race, every year 3 skiers in traditional costume reenact the historic escape on wooden skis.

The race brings over 13,000 skiers to Cable and Hayward each year, some even traveling from abroad to participate in the Birkie.

It is the 3rd biggest race in the world, making it worth their trip.

Many experienced the Berkie for their first time but most likely not their last.

Others have been racing for decades.  Mitch Mode, a skier from Rhinelander Wisconsin, has been coming back each year for 39 years.

“Say what you will, this is a tough course,” said Mode.

Mode said the race has become a habit that he can’t kick

“I did it for 5 years and I quit… and then the week before the Birkie I said nahh I’m going to do it again, and I never looked back, I never quit,” Mode said.

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