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Karen Manske

Karen Manske


Phone Number:

City, State:
Winter Park, CO

Years of ABSF Membership:
Many years…

Retired from public education administration, currently coaching with the Winter Park Competition Center Nordic Juniors program

Why are you interested in being a member of the ABSF Board of Directors?

I was honored to be elected to the Birkie Board 3 years ago. It is my hope that I’m able to continue my work on the Board for another term, especially as the efforts to develop Mount Telemark Village come to fruition!

My original experience with the Birkie occurred 22 years ago when I skied my first Birkie. That shared experience with so many people had me hooked. During the past 2 decades, I’ve had the pleasure of completing 21 Birkies, 1 Kortelopet, many Birkie Trail runs, and recently completed Birkie Epic single track and gravel races.

Clearly, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is much more than a ski race. The mission of the ABSF to support healthy and active lifestyles among people of all ages and abilities is the primary reason I want to be involved with and support the awesome Birkie staff as they design and develop activities for all.

I’ve had the pleasure of coaching high school and college athletes in cross country running, track and nordic skiing. Currently, I’m living in Colorado, coaching for the Winter Park Competition Center Nordic Junior program. It has been a gift to watch the joy of physical accomplishments by so many young athletes and see the enthusiasm for their sport grow.

As youth athletic development is important to us, my husband and I have been co-chiefs of the Junior Birkie for nine years. We continue to make the Junior Birkie a priority and look forward to being in Hayward each year in order to be part of this exciting set of youth races.

Even though Bruce and I will live in Colorado for another year, we continue to think of the Hayward area as home. Three of our adult kids live in the Midwest, we own a small lot near Hayward, so no doubt we’ll be living in the Hayward area again soon. In the meanwhile, I appreciate being able to attend Birkie Board meetings virtually when I’m not able to attend in person.

What knowledge and skills do you possess that can benefit the organization?

I worked in public education as a teacher and administrator in Minnesota for 40 years, retiring in 2017. For 10 years, I served on the board of the Minnesota Community Education Association. This experience helped prepare me for my participation as a Birkie Board member.

Now having served one term on the Birkie Board, my understanding of the organization has grown and will make another term on the board even more valuable.

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