Gregg and Norris take top honors in the 52K race
HAYWARD, WI (Feb. 20, 2016) – It was an All American sweep at the 43rd running of the 43rd Annual Slumberland American Birkebeiner as David Norris (Fairbanks, AK) and Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) skied to close wins on a fast 52k track between Cable and Hayward, WI. Gregg’s fourth Birkie victory put her into the record books with the most wins ever, man or woman.
Gregg won in two hours, 22 minutes, 44.5 seconds – a five second margin over France’s Aurelie Dabudyk, who retained her FIS Worldloppet Cup lead. Erika Flowers (Belgrade, MT) was third. Norris, who came into his first Birkie on the heels of three USSA SuperTour wins, won in 2:05:35.4, with French skiers Ivan Perrillat Boiteux and Benoit Chauvet just a second behind. With his second place finish, Perrilate Bouteux took over the Worldloppet Cup lead.
“I am very excited to win the American Birkebeiner for the 4th time. It’s a long and challenging course and so many factors are playing a role in this race. Today everything worked out and I am very glad with that,” said an elated Caitlin Gregg, four time American Birkebeiner champion and Birkie Ambassador.
“Everything went as good as I could have hoped. I came across the lake and just tried to keep my speed and I did it. I knew that there are many experienced skiers and I just hoped to be able to response to their moves and it worked out. I am super excited, said David Norris (USA), 2016 American Birkebeiner male champion.”
Under cloudy skies and after a warm snap, the weather was stable. And while the track was wet, it held up well throughout the day’s race for today’s estimated 10,500 skiers.
The excitement at the 2016 Birkie was palpable with a strong showing of elite athletes from around the globe. This year’s race found competitors from 17 countries and 40 states competing in this, North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon. With the recent cancellation of two FIS Worldloppet Cup Races in Estonia and France, the American Birkebeiner was recently named a FIS Worldloppet Cup Race. The Worldloppet Cup is the premiere global International long distance racing series.
The 44th Annual Slumberland American Birkebeiner is slated for February 25, 2017.
Photos are available at available here.
About the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation and Birkie® Events
Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF), a 501(c)(3) organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February. Today, the Birkie has grown to encompass a variety of year-round, silent sport events that promote a healthy, active lifestyle for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts. The ABSF also acts as steward of the legendary Birkie Trail, providing year-round grooming, mowing and maintenance to all 107 kilometers. From the iconic American Birkebeiner ski race, to the Birkie Trail Run & Trek, and Fat Bike Birkie, the ABSF and the Birkie Trail attract skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite athletes. Learn more at www.birkie.com.
BIRKIE Ski. Run. Bike. Live!