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Record Numbers at Birkie Trail Run & Trek - Birkie.com

09/24/2011, 6:46pm CDT
By Susan Kendrick

Record Numbers and Trail Marathon Course Record Set
at the Birkie Trail Run & Trek

HAYWARD, WI, September 24, 2011 – The Birkie Trail Run & Trek welcomed a record-setting 906 runners, walkers and Nordic trekkers at its 9th annual event today, Saturday, September 24.

The Birkie Trail Run & Trek is comprised of five event categories: the individual Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay Team event, Nordic Trek (also a half marathon distance) and 5K.

All events take place on the legendary American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet trails. The individual marathon, which was added as a new event last year, started at Hatchery Creek Park in Hayward, WI, and finished at Telemark Resort in Cable, WI. The entire course is a wide, mowed, trail. What makes it both beautiful and challenging are the hills.


The overall winner of the marathon, was Chris Pappathopoulos of Sun Prairie, WI, who set a new course record with a winning time of 2:52:15, a full six minutes faster than last year’s winning time.

In the women’s marathon division, Amber Hertz of Madison, WI, finished first with a time of 3:31:53, almost identical to the course record of 3:31:32 set in 2010 by Jan Guenther of Mound, MN. This year, however, Hertz's strong finish created a wide gap as she came in 16 minutes ahead of the pack.

Half Marathon

The Birkie Half Marathon started at the halfway point on the marathon course, at the OO Trailhead on the Birkie Trail. It also finishes at Telemark. Santiago Ocariz of Hayward, WI, took first place overall, with a finish time of 1:20:54. The champion in the woman’s division was Ashley O’Reilly of Springfield, MO, with a finish time of 1:35:59.

Marathon Team Relay

The 26.2 mile Marathon Relay is comprised categories for 3- and 6-person Open, Women’s, and Mixed teams. Teams are handicapped based on participant ages and genders in this all-out contest of fierce running, topped with fun. A total of 62 teams participated. Teams got into the spirit with names ranging from the "Sweaty Bettys" and "2 Cops and a Nurse" to the "Cake Runners," "Brew Wolves," and "Twisted Sista's," plus some matching race shirts and in one case, goatees.

In the 3-person Team Relays, “Klister Day” took first place in the Open division with a time of 3:09:09. The Women’s division was won by team “Northwoods Ladies” in 3:35:40. The Mixed division winner was “Team GRT” with a time of 3:12:37.

In the 6-person Team Relay, “Club MEN” took first place in the Open division with a time of 3:11:38. The Women’s division was won by the “Seeley Striders” in 3:24:40. In the Mixed division, ”Locomotive Breath” finished first in 3:26:35.

5K Run/Walk

The 5K started and finished at Telemark, with a course that included a great mix of Birkie Classic, Kortelopet, and Telemark Trails. First place went to Ryan Ping of Winona, MN, with a time of 20:49:2. First place in the women’s division went to Katy Garvey of Appleton, WI, who finished in 30:13.7.

Nordic Trek - Walk

This untimed 21K Nordic Trek also started at the OO Trailhead and finished at Telemark. Over 147 participants proved the growing popularity of this event in the U.S. In the spirit of the European Volksmarch, the Trek is a “people’s march,” a non-competitive fitness walk where participants use Nordic walking poles to provide more stability, speed, and workout benefits over long distances.

Why They Come to Run

Runners and walkers came this year from a total of 21 states throughout the Midwest, from as far west as California, Oregon, and Washington, from as far east as Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, from as far south as Kansas and Texas, and to the north from Canada.

“As we keep growing, a very festive, energized atmosphere has developed. This is a great group of participants and spectators. We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout.” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation and its events.

“The Birkie Trail Run & Trek continues to grow as more people hear about all the choices for participating and the unique experience of running and walking the Birkie Trail. We also have a lot of people that come as groups of family and friends. It makes for a great day.”

“These events also offer a way for the American Birkebeiner to showcase its outstanding trail system in Bayfield and Sawyer Counties,” Zuelsdorff added. “We want people to know that in addition to being an excellent trail for cross country skiing in the winter months, the Birkie Trail is open to the public year-round for running, walking, and biking. We encourage residents and visitors alike to use the trail as part of their fitness routine and as a way to just get out and enjoy the beauty of northern Wisconsin anytime.”

See complete Event Results on our website.

Learn More:
Visit the Birkie Trail Run & Trek Events page of our website, email us at media@birkie.com, or call us at 715-634-5025.

The Birkie Trail Run & Trek Trek is sponsored by Salomon, Out There, Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Hammer Nutrition, Marshfield Clinic, Becker Law, Outdoor Ventures, Ideal Market, ActivEdge, Hoigaard’s, Marketplace Foods, Woodland Developments & Realty, Backroads Coffee, Tremblay’s Sweet Shop, LEKI, Kwik Trip, Vortanz Lumber, Berkeley Running Company, Revel Sports, and Midwest Mountaineering.

About the Birkie: Celebrating its 39th year, the American Birkebeiner, February 23-25, 2012, is the largest and most prestigious cross country ski marathon in North America. Spanning more than 50 kilometers from Cable to Hayward, the Birkie is part of the Worldloppet series of 15 international races, and part of the lives of citizen skiers from around the world. See www.Birkie.com.

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