The Birkie Experience of a Lifetime!

Each year the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation looks for three capable cross country skiers to dress as the original “Birkebeiner” warriors and Inga, Prince Haakon’s mother, and ski the 55 kilometers Birkebeiner Classic from Cable to Hayward, WI, on traditional wooden skis and in full period costume provided by the Birkie.  Inga will also ski the 55-kilometer Classic Birkie  before meeting up with the Birkie warriors and baby Prince Haakon at the finish line on Main Street in Hayward.

The Warriors & Inga group will serve as “ambassadors of the Birkie,” encouraging skiers, spectators and volunteers along the way.   Upon skiing the American Birkebeiner on Saturday, the warriors will carry a baby doll along the course until Main Street where they will pick up a real infant “Prince” before skiing the last two blocks with Inga to the finish line.

“This tradition has become one of the highlights of the whole Birkie experience for participants and spectators alike,” says Ben Popp, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “Find a few friends or do it as a family. It will complete your Birkie experience.”

The Contest Application Deadline for the 2018
Warriors & Inga Contest is Midnight, November 30, 2017

2018 Warriors & Inga Birkie Week Schedule »

For more information, email or call 715-634-5025 x:2.

Ski the Birkie (or Korte) for Race Credit

If you ski as a Warrior or Inga, you will receive credit for completing the race.

Free Entry the Following Year

Each member of the winning group will also receive a free Birkie or Korte race entry for the following year.

Past Birkie Warriors and Ingas


2017: Scott Smith, Hayward, WI and Jeremy Smith, Salt Lake City, UT

2016: Bruce Derauf and Steve Long, both from Duluth, MN

2015: Jeremiah Menk, St. Paul, MN and Ben Menk, Minneapolis, MN

2014: Erik Julsrud, Duluth, MN and Ryan Harden, Carlton, MN

2013: Chris Lawn, Madison, WI, and Tom Lawn, Plymouth, WI

2012: Darald Bothun and Barry Knapp, both from Rochester, MN

2011: Gale Otterholt and Marv Franson, both from Eau Claire, WI

2010: Brothers David Nelson, Medicine Lake, MN, and Grant Nelson, Duluth, MN

2009: Jeff Cummisford, Waukesha, WI, and best friend, Richard Pierce, Verona, WI

2008: Brothers Thom Gerst, Coon Rapids, MN, and Gary Gerst, Maple Grove, MN


2017: Rebecca Ireland, Minneapolis, MN, and baby Reagan Aleksandr

2016: Jen Pearson, Duluth, MN,  and baby Aspen Jo

2015: Alison Menk, Minneapolis, MN, and baby Menk

2014: Jennifer Julsrud, Duluth, MN.

2013: Lori House, Madison, WI, and baby Keirsten Lawn (Chris’s daughter)

2012: Kristin Bothun, Mankato, MN, daughter of Warrior Bothun, and Nikolai Fornear

2011: Gretchen Lindgren, St. Cloud, MN, and her grandchild Finnley

2010: Josie Nelson, Medicine Lake, MN, and son Karl

2009: Lyndsey Lewis, Fort Collins, CO, and son Piercen

2008: Gail Moede Rogall, Madison, WI, and son Bjorn