Birkie Half Marathon Draws Record Roster of Elite Athletes

Hayward, WI (September 28, 2017) – September 30, 2017 marks the 16th Birkie Trail Run Festival held on the legendary hills of the iconic Birkie Trail. The Birkie Trail Run half marathon, part of the Birkie Trail Run Festival weekend of events, is the host event for the 2017 USATF National Half Marathon Trail Championships by USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body. The event, scheduled for September 30, 2017, is presented by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF), the nonprofit organizers of the Birkie Trail Run Festival.

“We are honored to host a USATF National Championship and welcome America’s best runners to the beautiful trails of the north woods,” said Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director. “This year’s half marathon race provides a unique opportunity for citizen skiers to run amongst the best of the best. With sunny skies and 60° temps in the forecast, it’s destined to be an amazing day on the Birkie Trail!”

Half Marathon & USATF Half Marathon Trail Championship

The USATF National Half Marathon Trail Championship event is a partnership between the ABSF and USATF. An impressive field of elite athletes, Olympic hopefuls, and citizen runners will participate in this weekend’s race at Birkie Ridge. The half marathon race is a held on 100-percent trail and includes many of the legendary Birkie Trail hills, as well as a three-mile section of Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) single-track. Competitors will vie for the Birkie Half Marathon prize purse, however, only members of the USATF are eligible to win USATF Championship medals and awards.

Birkie Trail Run Festival

From the challenge and intensity of a 100-kilometer ultra-marathon to the fun of a 5-kilometer run/walk, an estimated 1200+ runners and trekkers will take to the Birkie Trail for a day of fun, camaraderie, and outdoor adventure in the beautiful forests of northwest Wisconsin. With a record field of both half marathon competitors and ultra marathon runners (26) slated to participate, excitement for Saturday’s events is at a fever pitch.

Eight events complete the roster – including a 100K ultra marathon, marathon, marathon relay (3 or 6 person teams), half marathon, Nordic Trek, 5K run/walk, youth 5K, and 1K Kid’s Fun Run (free for ages 9 and under), and Dive for the Dirt obstacle course for kids – there is a north woods trail experience available for every ability level. Interested runners and trekkers have until Friday, September 29th at 7pm to register at

The 2017 Birkie Trail Run Festival boasts a Vendor Fair, full roster of events, live music, north woods fare, Birkie Brew-Ski on tap, on-site camping at Birkie Ridge, autumn leaves courtesy of Mother Nature, and Birkie Fever aplenty.

The Birkie Trail Run Festival events, sponsored by Salomon, 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 Festival events place runners and trekkers on some of the most scenic stretches of the famous Birkie Trail and single-track sections of the CAMBA trail system.

Birkie Trail Run Festival Schedule of Events

  • 5:30 AM Ultra-Marathon Start
  • 8:00 AM Marathon Start (25.8 miles)
  • 8:30 AM Marathon Relay Start (25.8 miles)
  • 9:00 AM Dive for the Dirt opens
  • 9:15 AM Birkie Half Marathon Start (12.4 miles)
    USATF Championship Start
  • 9:30 AM Nordic Trek Start
  • 9:45 AM 5K Start
  • 10:30 AM Birkie Ridge Bash Begins
    Food, Live Music, Celebration!
  • 11:00 AM 5K Award Ceremony
  • 11:30 AM Half Marathon Award Ceremony
    Overall, USATF & Age Group
  • 11:45 AM 1K Fun Run for Kids
  • 12:15 PM Marathon & Relay Awards
  • 3:00 PM Final Marathon Finishers
  • 6:00 PM Ultra-Marathon Champion
  • Awards at The Rivers Eatery

New for 2017!

The Birkie Event App – Event participants and spectators can track their favorite runners, view LiveRanking, leaderboards, check out course maps, the weather forecast, enjoy the selfie filters, and more on their iPhone or Android phones. The free Birkie Event app will be used for ABSF events year-round and available in the Apple Store.

Dive for the Dirt – An obstacle course for kids, Dive for the Dirt will include a slack line, tunnel crawl, hay bale leap, balance beam, agility ladders, hurdles, and even a cargo net belly crawl! Birkie volunteers and Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Waters Edge staff will supervise and help kids as needed. An adult must sign a waiver for each child participating in youth events.

CXC Experience – Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC Skiing) will be on hand with their experiential vehicle featuring a museum and a range of sports including: mountain biking; biathlon; ski jumping; adaptive sport; Ski-Ergs; and an agility course;
allowing visitors to try their hand at any number of activities.

Go Cup Free

The ABSF is encouraging participants to help make the Birkie Trail Run Festival a clean race by using a reusable SpeepCup from HydraPak or other personal hydration vessel. The first 750 participants at bib pickup for the Marathon, Relay, Half Marathon, and Nordic Trek, will receive a SpeedCup, compliments of HydraPak, for use during their race and beyond.

The Birkie Trail Run Festival is sponsored by: Salomon – Title Sponsor Birkie Trail Run Festival; CARLSON MD – Presenting Sponsor Marathon; FITS – Presenting Sponsor Marathon Relay; HydraPak – Presenting Sponsor Half-Marathon; The Rivers Eatery – Presenting Sponsor 100K Ultra-Marathon; Corner Deli – Post-Race Food & Beverage; GU – Official Energy; NUUN – Official Hydration; Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Waters Edge – Presenting Sponsor: Dive for the Dirt.

About the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation and Birkie® Events

Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February. Today, the Birkie brand has grown to encompass a year-round lifestyle that provides healthy, active events for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels.
Birkie. Ski. Run. Bike. Live! Visit to learn more.

About the USATF – USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information, visit:

USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

About Salomon – Designed for Freedom –

For more information about Salomon, visit


Posted September 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm