Skiers from 23 countries & 49 States Participated in the 45th Annual Festivities
HAYWARD, WI (Feb. 23, 2019) – Amidst a flurry of morning snow, skiers lined up at the start line of the 45th Slumberland American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon. Alayna Sonnesyn, S. Londonderry, VT, and Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, Craftsbury Common, VT were the first elite skiers to cross the finish line on Hayward’s snow-covered Main Street, in the men’s and women’s skate race.
It was a race to the finish as a trio of male skiers topped the American Birkebeiner International Bridge and made their way down Main Street toward the finish line. With only a fraction of a second between the finishers, Maifeld-Carucci took the top spot with a time of 2:12:34, Brian Gregg, Minneapolis, MN, was right behind with a time of 2:12:35, and Matt Liebsch, Orono, MN, skied across the finish line with a time of 2:12:43.
In the women’s skate race, Alayna Sonnesyn crossed the line nearly a minute before her nearest competitor with a time of 2:34:00, followed by Anja Gruber, Bozeman, MT, with a time of 2:34:54, and followed by Katie Feldman, Ketchum, ID, with a time of 2:35:08. Feldman’s finish clinched the race as an entirely American podium for the Birkie skate race.
The Slumberland American Birkebeiner Classic race had an international flavor with the following skiers claiming top spots on the podium:
Men’s 55K Classic Race
1 – Peter Holmes – Ketchum, ID – 3:04:32
2 – Ivan Babikov – Canmore, CAN – 3:05:34
3 – Fredrik Schwencke – Trondheim, Nor – 3:07:15
Women’s 55K Classic Race
1 – Cate Brams – Belmont, MA – 3:21:24
2 – Erica Wagner – Duluth, MN – 3:36:31
3 – Elizabeth Paddock – Missoula, MT – 3:37:59
Kikkan Randall, Penticton, CAN, finished 12th place in the Birkie Skate 50K race with a time of 2:48:19. Randall, with teammate Jessie Diggins, became the first American cross-country skiers to win Olympic gold. That was February 2018. Then, in June 2018, Randall was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that time, Randall has inspired a nation with her optimism, grit, and tenacity. This was the first ever 50K race and Randall’s first Slumberland American Birkebeiner.
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 23 countries participated in the Slumberland American Birkebeiner festivities.
Friday’s 29-kilometer Kortelopet race, finished on Hayward’s snow-covered Main Street with a strong field of competitors. The Kortelopet has a long legacy of elite skiers winning the race including Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins’ who won the Kortelopet twice in the earlier days of her skiing career.
Kortelopet 29K Race – Friday, February 22, 2019
1st Men’s Skate – Mcewan Rodefeld – Blaine, MN – 1:18:03
2nd Men’s Skate – Drake Hacker – Lisbon, WI – 1:18:06
3rd Men’s Skate – Nick Niemi – Ironwood, MI, 1:18:09
1st Women’s Skate – Olivia Dreger, Marathon, WI – 1:27:12
2nd Women’s Skate – Susanne Hill – Winnipeg, CAN – 1:33:11
3rd Women’s Skate – Isabel Seay – Sussex, WI – 1:33:13
1st Men’s Classic – Daniel Huhtala – Green Bay, WI – 1:26:06
2nd Men’s Classic – Ryan Thieme – Green Bay, WI – 1:26:07
3rd Men’s Classic – Adam St. Pierre – Boulder, CO – 1:27:10
1st Women’s Classic – Johanna Craig, Tomahawk, WI – 1:38:19
2nd Women’s Classic – Liv Myers – Stillwater, MN – 1:42:30
3rd Women’s Classic – Nel Hanson – Hayward, WI – 1:48:58
The 46th Annual Slumberland American Birkebeiner week of festivities is slated for February 20-23, 2020.
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has a year-round schedule of events to promote a healthy, active Birkie lifestyle. Visit www.Birkie.com for a complete listing of events.