Festival of Birkie Nordic Ski Events Begins in 8 Days
Hayward, WI (February 13, 2019) – The 45th Annual Slumberland American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest cross-country ski race, is pleased to announce the honorary race starter for Birkie 2019. On Saturday, February 23, Kikkan Randall, five-time Olympian and PyeongChang gold medalist, will welcome, motivate, and send Birkie skiers on their way from the American Birkebeiner Trailhead to the finish line on the snow-covered Main Street of Hayward, WI, an over 30-mile journey.
Randall, will also make numerous appearances during Birkie week including: Thursday, February 21 – encouraging young skiers during Thursday’s youth ski events on Hayward’s Main Street and attending the Birkie Bash pasta feed that evening; Friday, February 22 – appearances at the Birkie Expo and at the Kortelopet; Saturday, February 23 – Honorary Race Starter at the Slumberland American Birkebeiner and skiing the 50K skate/freestyle race; Sunday, February 24 – leading the Fast and Female Champ Chat for girls ages 8-18. Registration for Thursday youth events, as well as tickets for the Birkie Bash and Fast and Female, are available at www.Birkie.com
Randall, with teammate Jessie Diggins, became the first American cross-country skiers to win Olympic gold. That was February. Then, in June, Randall was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that time, Randall has inspired a nation with her optimism, grit, and tenacity. In support of Kikkan’s journey to #FINISHCANCER, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) is offering the opportunity for the ski community and beyond to win a framed and autographed custom “Kikkan” Birkie bib. Proceeds will go directly to Randall and her ongoing mission to get AKTIV Against Cancer. Anyone interested in supporting Kikkan on her journey may participate at www.Birkie.com.
Since the first American Birkebeiner ski race in 1973, over 250,000 skiers have completed ABSF cross-country ski races. In 2019, skiers from 49 states and 22 countries will participate in the Slumberland American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race. The Birkie schedule of events kicks off on Thursday, February 21, and concludes on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Visit www.Birkie.com for a complete listing of events.