ABSF Adds New Vendor Fair to Birkie Trail Run & Trek Event Schedule
Hayward, WI (September 13, 2016) – October 1, 2016 marks the 15th running of the Birkie Trail Run & Trek (BTRT) on the legendary hills of the iconic Birkie Trail. From the challenge and intensity of a 100K ultra marathon to the fun of a 5k run/walk, an estimated 1000+ runners and trekkers will take to the trails for a day of fun, camaraderie, and outdoor adventure. In conjunction with its 15th anniversary milestone, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) is pleased to announce a new USATF Marathon designation, exciting new steps toward a clean cup-free race, along with a robust new Birkie Vendor Fair.
The Birkie Trail Run & Trek, sponsored by Salomon, is comprised of eight events that start and finish at Birkie Ridge Trailhead, 12.5 miles north of Hayward, Wisconsin, and 5 miles south of Cable, Wisconsin. The eight Birkie Trail Run & Trek events place runners and trekkers on some of the most scenic stretches of the famous Birkie Trail and single-track sections of the CAMBA (Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association) trail system. With eight events on the roster – including a marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, Nordic Trek, 5K run/walk, youth 5K (12 and under) and 1K Kid’s Dash (free for ages 9 and under), along with the 100K Ultra Marathon – there is a north woods trail experience available for every ability level. Full race course information is available at www.Birkie.com.
USATF Championship Marathon Designation
The 2016 Birkie Trail Run marathon, one of the events at the Birkie Trail Run & Trek, is now designated as the 2016 USA Track and Field (USATF) championship for the state of Wisconsin. USATF is the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States. Much like the special relationship between the Birkie and the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) – which heightens the premier nature of the American Birkebeiner (Birkie), the promotion of Nordic sports, and the ability to support athletes pursuing Olympic dreams – the USATF relationship helps to elevate the Birkie Trail Run & Trek. From increased participation amongst an expansive pool of athletes, to building awareness of the event nationwide, the 15th running of the BTRT is destined to be bigger and better than ever.
Since the ABSF’s first ski race in 1973, the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race has drawn a field of national and international elite athletes, as well as passionate citizen skiers. The BTRT is much the same with 2015 male marathon champion, Marco Sturm, hailing from Germany. Mass skiing and running events like the Birkie and the BTRT present a unique opportunity for average folks to line-up and race head-to-head and elbow-to-elbow with the best in the world. The USATF designation will be a draw for elite athletes regionally, nationally, and internationally, which makes the 2016 an event worthy of every runner and trekker’s bucket list.
Making Strides Toward Clean, Cup-Free Racing
No matter what distance participants are running or trekking, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. In an effort to reduce impact on the environment and to improve hydration for participants overall, the ABSF is making great strides toward becoming a clean cup-free race.
One of the most important things in any race is ensuring that aid stations are plentiful and efficient for race participants. Serving beverages in disposable cups (9-oz.) along the course route results in unnecessary waste bound for area landfills; cups make up about 70% of post-event waste. Not surprisingly, drinking from these same cups can potentially reduce a runner’s hydration intake with only an estimated average of 6-ounces consumed per cup. One solution is to have participants carry their own hydration vessel. As such, the ABSF has partnered with HydraPak to help meet the hydration needs of runners on race day. The first 750 pre-registered marathon, marathon relay, half-marathon, trek and ultra-runner participants to pick up their bibs for the 2016 Birkie Trail Run and Trek will receive a free 12-oz. HydraPak SoftFlask for use during the October 1st events. Lightweight, flexible, and easy to carry the SoftFlask collapses as you drink and allows runners and trekkers to pack the empty flask tightly away for use at the next aid station. While the aid stations will continue to provide cups, the ABSF is strongly encouraging all participants to help make the Birkie Trail Run & Trek a clean race by hydrating with a SoftFlask or other personal hydration vessel. Ultimately, the reusable vessels will reduce waste in landfills and can be used repeatedly throughout the year.
“After 15-years, our event continues to evolve. We’re excited to take steps toward a cup-free race and think our participants will be equally as enthused,” said Allan Serrano, ABSF Event Director. “As stewards of the Birkie Trail, it is important to us to preserve this amazing natural resource along with the environment in general. Working toward a clean race is simply the right thing to do.”
New Birkie Trail Run & Trek Vendor Fair
New in 2016, the public is invited to attend the new Birkie Vendor Fair on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 at Birkie Ridge. Featuring the latest running and outdoor gear, the Vendor Fair coincides with Birkie Trail Run & Trek bib pick-up on Friday and continues throughout the day’s events on Saturday. The wide variety of vendors includes leading brands such as: Salomon; FITS; Hydro Flask; Bjorn Daehlie; Gear West; Bliz Eyewear; Bergans of Norway; Altra Running Shoes; Julbo Eyewear; Skratch Labs; RooSport Magnetic Pocket; Mainstream Boutique; Hayward Coffee Company; Birkie Store, and more.
The Vendor Fair is open to participants, visitors, and spectators alike on both days. WRLS Radio, 92.3 FM, will be broadcasting live from the Vendor Fair on Friday afternoon from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
With a Vendor Fair on Friday and the Birkie Trail Run events on Saturday, participants can look forward to a chill north woods vibe complete with on-site camping at Birkie Ridge, post-race picnic-style fixings in the big tent, live music, craft beer, root beer, spectacular autumn leaves, and camaraderie aplenty. There is still opportunity to register for Birkie Trail Run Events. Interested individuals are invited to register at www.Birkie.com/run.
Salmon is the title sponsor of the Birkie Trail Run & Trek. Additional sponsors include: Carlson, M.D. (presenting marathon sponsor); FITS (presenting sponsor marathon relay); Hydro Flask (presenting sponsor half-marathon); HydraPak (presenting sponsor 100K ultra marathon); OutThere (presenting sponsor Trek); Corner Deli (presenting sponsor 5k & post-race barbeque and beverage); Nuun; GU; Clif; Hayward Coffee Co.; Marketplace Foods; and 92.3 WRLS Radio.
What began with a ski-race in 1973 has grown into a year-round, healthy, active lifestyle movement with the ABSF at the center of Birkie Trail activities. The Birkie has grown its programming into an exciting array of fitness and recreational opportunities. The over 100-kilometer Birkie Trail system attracts skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite superstars.