Thousands Gather for Birkebeiner Ski Race

HAYWARD, Wisc.– Covering 50 kilometers the Slumberland American Birkiebeiner started in the city of Cable Saturday morning and finished in Hayward.

The race started in 1973 and has now expanded to a 5 day long event.

The Birkie is the largest cross-country ski marathon in North America.

Besides the main event held Saturday, there was a junior race and a giant ski race for fans to enjoy earlier in the week.

“It’s an incredible experience, I have really enjoyed my time here and it’s insane to watch all these incredible athletes perform at high levels, ” said spectator Tessa Rahrick.

The Wisconsin race is a part of the Worldloppet circuit of over 20 marathons.

Skiers are sent out in waves at the start of the race and often travel in packs, but once they near the finish line, its a mad dash.

“I was skiing hard, little too hard the last 5k were really-really hard, I ended up getting passed by some people I had gotten past, so I’m looking forward to see what the results is.” said skier Andrej Bendtsen.

Andrej Bendtsen is from Denmark but has lived in the area for 5 years, and has participated in the famous Birkie race 5 times.

“The first part is to ski race but the second fun part is really to be there and meet people, and catch up and have a good time, and the conditions here today is marvelous,” said Bendtsen.

Coming up on March 11 there is fat bike race and in September there is a running race and both use the famous Birkiebeiner trail.


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