46th Slumberland American Birkebeiner Events Begin in Three Short Weeks
Hayward, Wis. (January 30, 2020) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) and communities in and around Hayward, WI, are preparing to welcome the world to northwest Wisconsin for the 46th Slumberland American Birkebeiner and Birkie week of events. A mere three weeks away, the Birkie week of events draws an estimated 40,000 skiers and spectators to Hayward and Cable, WI. Of those, an estimated 13,500 skiers will participate in American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation race events during Birkie week. 2020 registrations include participants from 47 states and 25 countries.
Birkie Week includes events for all ages and abilities and is an annual pilgrimage for Nordic skiing enthusiasts from around the globe.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 NEW in 2020
New to the Birkie week line-up is the SuperTour Sprint competition. Throughout 2019 and 2020, top U.S. cross-country ski athletes have competed with their Canadian counterparts in the SuperTour, a series of International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned cross-country ski events across North America and a vital component of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s development program. The program provides top-level racing and a proving ground for athletes with aspirations of qualifying for the U.S. Ski Team, of competing on the FIS World Cup tour, or in the Olympics. The Birkie Week SuperTour stop is the final competition prior to the SuperTour finals in British Columbia in March. Learn more.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
From the Barkie Birkie Skijor and the Barnebirkie youth race, to the Junior Birkie and the Birkie Giant Ski, Thursday is a day of fun for all ages and abilities on Hayward’s snow-covered Main Street.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Birkie Adaptive Skiers start their adventure early on Friday morning. Later that morning, thousands of skiers will take to the trail in the Kortelopet (29K), North America’s second largest cross-country ski race, followed by the 15-kilometer Prince Haakon.
Saturday, February 22, 2020 – The Greatest Show on Snow
The Slumberland American Birkebeiner (50K Skate/55k Classic), North America’s largest cross-country ski race, finds skiers traversing their way down the Birkie Trail from Cable, WI, across Lake Hayward and the American Birkebeiner International Bridge, to the snow-covered streets of Hayward, WI.
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Sunday’s Birkie On-Snow Ski and Bike demo provides skiers and non-skiers alike with the chance to try out the latest Nordic gear and fat bikes on the Birkie Trail near the American Birkebeiner Trailhead, Cable, WI.
Registration for the Slumberland American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon races is closed, however registration is open for Birkie week events including: Barkie Birkie Skijor; Barnebirkie, Junior Birkie, Birkie Giant Ski, and Birkie Adaptive Ski. Visit Birkie.com for details.
The American Birkebeiner is rooted in Norwegian history when two Birkebeiner warriors, so-called by the birch bark leggings they wore, skied Prince Haakon, heir to the Norwegian throne, to safety on a long and perilous journey through the treacherous mountains and forests of Norway. Their determination is commemorated each year at the American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon as skiers recreate the courageous 55-kilometer journey.
In homage to this historic event, each year a trio of three skiers, warriors Torstein and Skjervald, and mother of the baby prince, Inga, re-enact the 800-year-old legend that inspired the creation of the American Birkebeiner ski race. Learn more about this year’s legendary skiers.