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 opens May 1st !

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

Help the ABSF to Go Green!

As a participant in the 2018 Birkie, Korte, or Prince Haakon, and with a $35 donation during the event registration process, you will receive this reusable, exclusive Birkie gear bag!

  • The Birkie gear bag will be used in lieu of the white or yellow plastic bag you would normally receive at bib pick-up.
  • The $125 value Birkie gear bag is available only while supplies last and only during the registration process.
  • The reusable Birkie gear bag is yours to keep and use on your year-round adventures.
  • Your $35 donation, and use of the Birkie gear bag, will help reduce the amount of waste generated from the event.
  • Only this gear bag or the provided yellow or white plastic bag will be accepted at bag drop-off on race day.
  • Thank you for helping the Birkie to go green!
  • Dimensions:  26.5 x 10.5 x 12.5 with backpack straps
  • The Birkie gear bag is a slightly larger version of that used by the US Ski Team!  Includes a special clear pocket on the top of the bag for your bib number!

Birkie Gear Bag

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 2014 to 2016 Birkie events for the same 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 from those years, but do have a finish time from any of the other three seeded Birkie events 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, 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 those 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.

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%3:19:12 to 3:43:0951% to 68%3:43:57 to 4:13:3267% to 88%
Wave 33:26:37 to 3:54:1965% to 86%3:43:10 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 39 Birkies completed, including Birkie Founder, Ernie St Germain, who has finish all 43 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.

Transfer Between Races

Participants may transfer their entry between Korte and Birkie and or between Skate and Classic at any time until 4:00pm Central Time on January 26, 2018. A transfer fee of $15 plus any difference in entry fee will be applied.
Click here to make a transfer request.


Wave Placement Upgrades

All Wave Upgrade Requests made for the 2017 Races will be honored for 2018 without out additional fee however, all requests must be resubmitted here.

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 submitting your request. 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 2018 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 2018 races.

Elite Wave entries are open until January 26, 2018. All entries, requests and changes must be made by 4:00 pm central time that day.

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 26, 2018.

Seeded Group

The 2018 Birkie Skate race will once again be a part of the FIS Worldloppet Cup, . Competitors from all FIS member nations 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 the Seeded Group requires that the competitor be active FIS members with at least one FIS race result, in the 365 days prior to February 16, 2018, with:
• fewer than 200 points for women and 150 points for men in competitions with a distance of 30 km or greater
• fewer than 150 points for women and 125 points for men in competitions with distance less than 30 km

Requests for Seeded Group entry must be sent to prior to February 16, 2018.

Team Captains Meeting

There will be a information meeting for Seeded Group Competitors at 5:00 pm on Friday February 23, 2018 at the Hayward Veterans Community Center.
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 22 – Saturday Feb 23

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

  • Thursday, February 22: 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 23: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Click Here for “Expo Preview”

Start Area Near Warming Tent — Bib Pick-Up Only

  • Saturday, February 24: 7:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Start Wave Schedule

Race Schedule:  Saturday, February 24

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 Classic9:40Gray
Wave 5 Skate9:45Gray
Wave 6 Classic9:50Light Green
Wave 6 Skate9:55Light Green
Wave 7 Skate10:00Yellow

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 24,2018. Kortelopet skiers must be 13 years of age by February 24, 2018. 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.

Birkie Skate Elevation Profile

Birkie Classic Elevation Profile

birkie-course-map-thumbnailClick the image above for PDF map.

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 at an award ceremony in the Celebration Plaza at 11:30 am.

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, they will receive a PREMIUM, LUXURY MATTRESS SET from Slumberland, title sponsor of the American Birkebeiner.

Wave Winner AwardsWave Winner Poster - FINALj - 2017

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, valued at $79 each! Waves include 1, 2, 3, 70, 4, 5, 6, 7.
* To Claim Your Award, check Birkie Results online then go directly to the Slumberland Furniture store on Highway 63 right in downtown Hayward to pick up your pair of premium pillows.  It’s close enough to walk from Main Street, or there is plenty of parking. Store Hours: SAT: 9-6 / SUN: 9-6.

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 at a ceremony held in the Celebration Plaza at 12:30 pm.
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.

Worldloppet Ambassadors

There are many Birkie Skiers who have experience traveling to races around the globe. If you are interested in a particular race or just about the WL in general, we can connect you with someone who can share their experience with you and help to plan a trip. Click Here to submit an inquiry.


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 purchased on-line by clicking HERE. 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 8:00 am, Friday, February 23th , at Flat Creek Inn & Suites. Register for the Breakfast HERE.


For lodging information, see our Lodging page.