Birkebeiner Shortened To 5K Of Trail
Birkebeiner May Have Been Cancelled But The Party Wasn't
CABLE, Wis. – This year’s 44th annual Birkebeiner will be known to those who attended as “Birkiefest 2017”.
The race being cancelled didn’t take away from the spirit of having fun.
The normal distance for the North American Birkebeiner is 51 kilometers, this year Mother Nature decided otherwise, shortening the race to a 5 kilometer fun run.
Some embraced the change.
“It was still good, there’s still snow on the ground there were a few spots where it was a little muddy but all in all it was still good track we got to ski today which is a miracle.” Says Eric, Sara and Riley from St. Paul.
For some it was a disappointment.
“It would have been the 30th so where out here maybe be back next year.” Says Edward Eroe, Skier from Minneapolis.
This being the second time the race was cancelled in its 44 years. But to those that came the Birkie isn’t just about the race.
“I was here in 2000 too when it was disappointing. So it’s real nice to have something to come out. The Birkie is all about friendship and reacquainting. I’ve lived all over the country and have met people everywhere I’ve lived that have done the Birkie,” Says Eroe.
Although the poor trail conditions may have detoured some away from participating.
“My estimate is 5,000 so approximately one half of what we would have in a normal Birkie race year,” Says Trail Manager Chris Campbell.
For others it was a good time to try some new things, like the shotski.
“So you have a ski with actual shots on the ski and at the same time everybody lifts the ski up and takes a shot…fireball…it was a first, usually were to chicken to take it at the 39 k mark at the actual race but this year why not,” Says Riley from St. Paul.
So from the trail to Hayward, Birkie or no Birkie, the party must go on.
“Were going to have a lot of fun tonight celebrating the 5k, Birkiefest, we were there.” Says Sara from St. Paul.