Are you ready to ski the Greatest Show on Snow?

Are you eager to challenge yourself in a new way? Do you want to discover what “Birkie Fever” is all about? If you answered yes, the Slumberland American Birkebeiner is the race for you…and NOW is the time to take the challenge, ski the adventure!

The Slumberland American Birkebeiner®:

  • Spans 50 kilometers from Cable to Hayward for Skaters, and 55K for Classic Skiers
  • North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon
  • Attracts over 10,000 Birkie/Korte skiers
  • Part of the Worldloppet circuit of 20 international ski marathons and part of the American Ski Marathon series of 13 races.

2016 American Birkebeiner Events Recap Video (3 min.)

2016 American Birkebeiner Video Replay

2016 American Birkebeiner Worldloppet Video (26 min.)


Registration is Open!

*In 2017, skiers interested in skiing the Korte or Prince Haakon on Friday, and the Birkie on Saturday, can register for both races!

Please register under the same name every year in order to keep track of your previous race finishes.  If you are unsure of the name you have previously registered under, please call the Birkie office at 715-634-5025 or email

Skate Waves

Classic Waves

 Through July 7July 8 through Sept 8Sept 9 through Nov 3Nov 4 until filled

All participants must be 18 years of age or older on race day to register for the American Birkebeiner 55K Classic or 50K Skate.

Wave Placement

The American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet utilizes a seeded start structure for four of its events:  Birkebeiner Skate, Birkebeiner Classic, Kortelopet Skate, and Kortelopet Classic.  Participants are seeded into starting waves based on their race history.  The first priority for wave placement is your best result from the past 3 years for the same Birkie event which you are registering for (see the Wave Seeding Criteria tables below).  If you do not have a finish time for that specific event in the previous 3 years, but do have a finish time from another Birkie event in the same time period, you will be placed in a wave based on the best finish result from that event, plus or minus an adjustment factor which accounts for the historical difference in the strength of competition between the races (see the Event Adjustment Factor table below).  If you have participated in multiple other Birkie events in the past 3 years, wave placement criteria will first use results from a similar distance race, then from a similar technique.   Participants who do not have a Birkie event finish time from the previous 3 years will be placed in the last wave.
There are also three special waves for those who qualify; Spirit of 35, Wave 70, and Elite Wave. Details for each are found below.

*The following tables have been adjusted slightly since the initial publication.  We apologize for any confusion.  Please call the office at 715-634-5025 with any questions.

Birkebeiner Skate Wave Seeding Criteria

Birkie Skate2016 Finish Time2016 PBE2015 Finish Time2015 PBE2014 Finish Time2014 PBE
Wave 12:36:35 to 3:05:16Up to 47%2:12:21 to 3:19:11Up to 50%2:14:29 to 3:43:56Up to 66%
Wave 23:05:17 to 3:26:3648% to 64%3:18:12 to 3:43:0951% to 68%3:43:57 to 4:13:3266% to 88%
Wave 33:26:37 to 3:54:1965% to 86%3:42:10 to 3:54:5869% to 77%4:13:33 to 4:39:0789% to 107%
Wave 43:54:20 to 4:03:0587% to 93%3:54:59 to 4:28:1278% to 102%4:39:08 to 5:04:40108% to 126%
Wave 54:03:06 to 4:33:1094% to 117%4:28:13 to 5:05:12103% to 130%5:04:41 to 5:43:34127% to 155%
Wave 64:33:11 to 5:29:30118% to 162%5:05:13 to 6:10:10131% to 179%5:43:35 to 6:46:30156% to 202%
Wave 75:29:31 and up163% and up6:10:11 and up180% and up6:46:31 and up203% and Up

Birkebeiner Classic Wave Seeding Criteria

Birkie Classic2016 Finish Time2016 PBE2015 Finish Time2015 PBE2014 Finish Time2014 PBE
Wave 12:49:59 to 4:27:40Up to 49%2:59:02 to 4:12:30Up to 42%3:01:00 to 4:34:32Up to 51%
Wave 24:27:41 to 5:08:4950% to 72%4:12:31 to 4:49:4543% to 63%4:34:33 to 5:10:4552% to 71%
Wave 35:08:50 to 5:46:2773% to 93%4:49:46 to 5:25:1064% to 83%5:10:46 to 5:49:0072% to 92%
Wave 45:46:28 to 6:33:0094% to 119%5:25:11 to 6:04:0084% to 106%5:49:01 to 6:37:1993% to 119%
Wave 56:33:01 to 7:41:20120% to 157%6:04:01 to 7:27:30107% to 152%6:37:20 to 7:55:43120% to 162%
Wave 67:41:21 and up158% and Up7:27:31 and up153% and Up7:55:44 and up163% and Up

Event Adjustment Factors

Event You are Registering For in 2017Using Previous Birkie Skate ResultUsing Previous Birkie Classic ResultUsing Previous Korte Skate ResultUsing Previous Korte Classic Result
Birkie Skate0+ 8 %+ 15 %+ 15 %
Birkie Classic- 8 %0+ 8%+ 8 %
Korte Skate- 15 %- 7 %00
Korte Classic- 15 %- 7 %00

Spirit of 35

This wave celebrates the spirit of the 35 intrepid skiers who finished the first Birkie in 1973. It is comprised of a small group of skiers with the most Birkie experience and those who have a special place in the race’s history. The current group of Spirit skiers have at least 35 Birkies completed, including Birkie Founder, Ernie St Germain, who has finish all 44 Birkies!

Wave 70

The mission of the American Birkebeiner Foundation includes supporting healthy and active lifestyles among people of ages and abilities. Cross country skiing is a lifestyle sport that allows people to stay active and healthy into their later years. Each year the Birkie provides an opportunity to celebrate this for nearly two hundred skiers over the age of seventy! We recognize these skiers with a special bib and special wave.

Wave Placement Upgrades

Participants may utilize the result from the list of qualifier competitions to improve on their placement from the above criteria. Similar to the comparison between the American Birkebeiner events, the results of the qualifiers will be adjusted based on the strength of competition, distance, and course elevation profile.

You may request to use a race result from the following list to improve your wave placement. Follow these steps to see if you are eligible for an upgrade:

  1. Determine your percent back in the qualifier race. Divide your time back from the winner (in minutes) by the winners time (in minutes), then multiple this value by 100. (example: your time 2:36, winning time 2:00; 36 minutes/120 minutes = 0.3 x 100 = 30% back)
  2. Determine your Percent Back Equivalency (PBE). Add your percent back to the qualifier race’s Adjustment Factor, which is found on the Qualifier List. PBE = Your % Back + Adjustment Factor
  3. Determine where your PBE would place you. Look up your PBE in the 2016 column of the Wave Seeding Table of the race for which you are registered. (Example: A PBE of 87% will place you in Wave 4 for Birkie Skate or Wave 3 for Birkie Classic or Wave 1 Korte Classic or Wave 2 Korte Skate)
  4. Request an upgrade only if your PBE will place you in a lower wave. Click here to make a wave and/or technique change request. Make sure you have completed steps 1-3 before calling. All requests will be charged a $15 service fee. Wave upgrades are subject to availability, if the wave that you qualify for is full, you will be assigned to the next wave with space available.

Click Here to View the 2017 Qualifier Races

Elite Athletes

Elite Wave

The Elite Wave is a long standing tradition at the American Birkebeiner. This Wave accommodates competitors who have outstanding credentials from previous year’s Birkie, Korte, Birkie Qualifiers, and other international competitions. Qualifying for this wave provides the advantages of less congestion at the start and the best possible course conditions. The top 200 male and 60 female finishers from the 2016 Birkie Skate race, and the top 100 male and 40 female finishers from the 2016 Birkie Classic race will automatically be assigned a starting position in the elite waves for the 2017 races.

Seeded Group

Competitors that meet the eligibility requirements will be included Seeded Group in the Birkie Skate Race. This group will start as part of the the Men’s and Women’s Elite Birkie Skate Waves. However these competitors will assigned designated starting positions at the front of the wave and the rest of the elite wave must stay behind the seeded group until the gun goes off.

There is no Seeded Group in the Birkie Classic Race.

Eligibility for Seeded Group requires that the competitor be active FIS members with at least one FIS race result, in the 365 days prior to February 17, 2017, with:
• fewer than 200 points for women and 150 points for men in competitions with a distance off 30 km or greater
• fewer than 150 points for women and 125 points for men in competitions with distance less than 30 km

Elite Requests

Position in the Elite Waves are only guaranteed for returning skiers who met the above finish place criteria. No exceptions. If you have an Elite Wave finish two or more years prior, top Kortelopet finish, or other outstanding cross country ski race result, you may request to be added to the Elite Wave Waitlist by sending email to Open positions in the Elite Wave will be filled from the Waitlist on January 27, 2017.

Requests for Seeded Group entry must be sent to prior to February 17, 2017.

Team Captains Meeting

There will be a information meeting for Seeded Group Competitors at 5:00 pm on Friday February 24, 2017.
Athletes without team affiliation are encouraged to attend the meeting and will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Bib Pickup

Bib Pickup & Expo:  Thursday Feb 23 – Saturday Feb 24

Hayward High School, Greenwood Lane — Bib Pick-up & EXPO

  • Thursday, February 23: 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 24: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Click Here for “Expo Preview”

Start Area Near Warming Tent — Bib Pick-Up Only

  • Saturday, February 25: 7:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Start Wave Schedule

Race Schedule:  Saturday, February 25

WaveStart TimeBib Color
Spirit of 358:15Red
Women Skate Elite Skate8:30Pink
Men & Women Elite Classic8:35Red, White & Blue; Pink
Wave 1 Classic8:40Blue
Men Skate Elite Skate8:50Red, White & Blue
Wave 70 Skate & Classic8:55Dark Red
Wave 1 Skate9:05Blue
Wave 2 Classic9:10Red
Wave 2 Skate9:15Red
Wave 3 Classic9:20Lt Blue
Wave 3 Skate9:25Lt Blue
Wave 4 Classic9:30Dark Green
Wave 4 Skate9:35Dark Green
Wave 5 Classic9:40Orange
Wave 5 Skate9:45Orange
Wave 6 Classic9:50Gray
Wave 6 Skate9:55Gray
Wave 7 Skate10;00Light Green

Race Policies

The race is run according to the rules and regulations of the FIS and any special requirements stated in the entry form, Birch Scroll, this web site, and participant race instructions. Offenses against any of these rules may lead to disqualification for current or future events and the forfeiture of any and all awards.

All participants in the Birkebeiner must be 18 years of age by February 24,2017. Kortelopet skiers must be 13 years of age by February 24, 2017. There are no refunds allowed for any reason including race cancellation. Entry fees are non-transferable between individuals or to future races.

Participants who complete an event in for which they are not registered (for example – complete the Birkie when they are registered for Korte, or ski the skate course when they registered for classic) will be credited for completing the race but will not be given a finish time, will not be eligible for awards and will not be included in the official results.

Click here for policies for using the clothing transport from the start to the finish Clothing Bag Procedures
Click here for the Participant Rules.

Course Information

American Birkebeiner Trail Highlights »

A complete list of maps and trail conditions can be found on the “Trails” page:  HERE
Birkie Classic Elevation Profile
Birkie Skate Elevation Profile

Awards and Prizes

Birkie Skate Overall Prize

Prize money will be awarded to the first six male and female competitors who cross the finish in the Birkie Skate Race. A total purse of $39,000 will be awarded in the increments below.

PlacePrize Money (US $)

First American Finisher

A $2500 “Support American Skiing” award will be given to the top American male & female finishers in the Birkie Skate Race.

In addition, each finisher will receive a PREMIUM, LUXURY MATTRESS SET from Slumberland, title sponsor of the American Birkebeiner.

Wave Winner Awards

From SLUMBERLAND, Title Sponsor of the American Birkebeiner:
Win Your Wave—Win a Pair of Pillows! In Each Wave, the 1st Birkie Male and Female Skate and the 1st Birkie Male and Female Classic will each receive a PAIR OF PREMIUM PILLOWS from Slumberland! Waves include 1, 2, 3, 70, 4, 5, 6, 7.
* Details to come about where to pick up your pillows in downtown Hayward on Saturday and Sunday.

Intermediate Bonus

A $500 Sprint Bonus will be awarded to the first male and female competitors in the Birkie Skate Race to cross the intermediate sprint line prior to the OO Aid Station.

Birkie Classic Overall Awards

Prize money will be awarded to the first three male and female competitors who cross the finish in the Birkie Classic Race.
1st Place $1000
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250
All prize money paid in Us Dollars. Wire transfer is available for $50 fee. Wire Transfer Form-Prize Money

Finisher Awards

First time Birkie Finishers will receive a commemorative Medal at the finish.
Skiers finishing subsequent Birkies will receive a pin recognizing the number of Birkies completed at the finish.

Age Class Awards

Age class awards will be given to the top three males and females, in both the freestyle and classic races, in each of the following age classes. Awards are based on net finish time (finish arrival time minus start time). Age classes are:
18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, and 85 -89.


Birkie skiers completing their 10th race will be awarded a personalize commemorative plaque.

Birchlegger Awards

Birkie skiers completing their 20th race are eligible for the status of “Birchlegger”. Birchlegger is the English translation for the Norwegian, Birkebeinerne, the nick-name of the birch barked armored, warriors who saved Prince Haakon). These special skiers are recognized with the honor of wearing a special bib in the race and a a personalized award for 20,30, and 40 years completed.
Birchleggers will receive their awards at a special breakfast hosted by the Birchleggings Club on Sunday morning following the Birkie. First time Birchleggers will be treated to breakfast at no charge.

The Birchleggings Club is not a part of the American Birkebeiner Foundation. It is a separate organization dedicated to be “a strong promoter of continued participation in the American Birkebeiner and would contribute toward enhancement of the rich traditions that mark the Birkie as a unique skiing event.”


Worldloppet is an international association of long distance ski races, created in 1979 from the inspiration of American Birkebeiner creator, Tony Wise. The Birkie is among the nine races that comprised the founding events which have grown to 20 races on five continents.


Tens of thousands of skiers around the world record their finishes of the Worldloppet Competitions in a special Passport. Finishers of the Birkie Skate or Classic can have their passport stamped or purchase a new passport  following the race on Saturday or on Sunday.

Worldloppet passports may also be requested by mail. If you have completed a Birkie in the past, you can request that a stamped passport be mailed to you at any time.

Cost of new passports are $35.

Worldloppet Breakfast

All are welcome to join Worldloppet Skiers, Delegates from other Worldloppet Competitions ,and honored guests at the Worldloppet Breakfast held on Friday of  Birkie Week.


For lodging information, see our Lodging page.