Nine Events, One Amazing Day.

The events will traverse the rolling hills and twists & turns of the famous Birkie Trail.  You’ll see beautiful vistas from atop Mt. Telemark and run on challenging hills, all within the beautiful forests of northwest Wisconsin.  If you love to run on a great trail in the midst of nature, this is the event to put on your calendar NOW. Hills for breakfast anyone? See you in September!

The Birkie Trail Run Festival will start & finish at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead, in Cable, WI.

The ABSF is pleased that the Birkie Trail Run Festival’s half marathon has once again been named the USA Track and Field 2021 Half Marathon Trail Championship!

Make it a weekend of training with Team Birkie!  See details below.

2021 BTR COVID19 Policy

Based on CDC guidance and levels of COVID19 transmission in local communities, all attendees of the Birkie Trail Run will be required to wear masks in indoor spaces.  Masks are encouraged for participants in the start area or anywhere it is difficult to maintain 6 ft. distance from others.   Participants are encouraged to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test before coming to the Birkie Trail Run and Hayward/Cable area.  Complete a symptom self-checker before attending the event and do not attend the event if you are feeling ill for any reason.

Additional precautions: indoor spaces will be limited at the 2021 Birkie Trail Run; aid stations will offer self serve water and Nuun and again be cupless; Ultramarathon food preparation on course will be limited; masks will be available at the start/finish, aid stations, and bib pickup.

Any participant, volunteer, spectator, or staff that exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home.


Choose Your Event!

  • Ultramarathon (100K)
  • 4-Person Ultramarathon Relay (100K)
  • Marathon (26.2 miles)
  • 3-Person Marathon Relay (26.2 miles)
  • 6-Person Marathon Relay (26.2 miles)
  • Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
  • Nordic Trek (8.5 mile hike with or without trekking poles)
  • 5 km Run/Walk
  • 1 km Kids Dash (Free but please register)

Free Race Entry with purchase of $1000 or more at Slumberland. Any Birkie Ski Run Bike Event. Click for Complete Details.

 Jan 1 thru May 16May 17 thru June 19June 18 thru August 5August 6 thru September 11September 12 thru September 24
100 km Ultra Marathon$130$140$150$160$170
Ultra Relay$260$290$320$350$380
Marathon Relay, 3-person$130$145$160$175$190
Marathon Relay, 6-person$260$290$320$350$380
Half Marathon$70$80$90$100$110
Trek - 8.5 miles$45$55$65$75$85
5 Km Run/Walk$35$40$45$50$55
5 km Ages 12 and Under$10$10$10$10$10
1 km Kids Dash Ages 9 and UnderFREEFREEFREEFREEFREE

Relay Event Registration

The Team Captain must register and pay for the team.  Each Team Member must register individually under the same Team Name to be issued the team bibs.  We will place your team in the appropriate team category based on age on race day and gender of your participants.

Age Restrictions

Participants in the Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, and Ultramarathon Relay must be 13 years old or older by September 25, 2021.Marathon and Ultramarathon participants must be 18 years old or older by September 25, 2021.

Registration Deadlines

Register online until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 24. There is no in-person or race-day registration.

Team Relay registration closes on Wednesday, September 22nd at 11:59 p.m.

Register through September 1 to guarantee a Birkie Trail Run t-shirt!

Race Change Requests

Participants may transfer their entry from one Birkie Trail Run event to another at any time until 11:59 pm CDT on Friday, September 17, 2021.  To transfer events, click here, find your registration and click on “Transfer Race” on the bottom of the page. No partial refunds will be given if changing to a shorter event. All requests will be charged a $15 processing fee plus any increase in race fees, if applicable.

To make a RELAY race change, please email

Marathon Relay Categories

Marathon Relay Teams will be placed in one of 12 categories:

3 Person Female Open3 Person Female Masters6 Person Female Open6 Person Female Masters
3 Person Male Open3 Person Male Masters6 Person Male Open6 Person Male Masters
3 Person Mixed Open3 Person Mixed Masters6 Person Mixed Open6 Person Mixed Masters
  • 3-Person Teams must have 2 or 3 team members and may exchange at any of the 5 exchange zones at the marathon aid stations.
  • 3-Person Mixed Teams must have one member of each gender.
  • 6-Person Teams must have 4 to 6 team members and may exchange at any of the 5 exchange zones at the marathon aid stations.
  • 6-Person Mixed Teams must have two members of each gender.  A 6-Person Team with only one person of either gender will not qualify for any team category.
  • A Masters’ team requires ALL members to be 40+ years old as of September 25, 2021.

Ultramarathon Categories

Ultramarathon Relay teams will all be placed in one overall category.

  • Teams may consist of 2 to 4 members.
  • 4-Person Teams of any gender combination.  Team members can exchange at any of the Ultramarathon aid stations.
  • Team members can run in any order and exchange as many times as determined by the team, as long as the exchange occurs at an Ultramarathon aid station.

Protect Your Registration!

Get reimbursed up to 100% on your registration if you can’t compete for a number of reasons.  Next Wave Insurance offers Regsaver so you can insure your non-refundable registration fee in case injury, illness, or another covered peril occurs.* Please see policy for complete list of covered perils at Limitations and exclusions apply. Next Wave Insurance, CA License #: OF00755.

Regsaver - An AIG insurance policy to cover your registration fees - Learn More

Learn More About RegSaver Registration Protection!

Birkie GreenBirkie Trail Run Festival is a cupless event!  Bring your own hydration vessel or during registration purchase a reusable and collapsible cup to use on course and at future races!

Cupless Racing Sponsored by HydraPak.  Register by September 10th to purchase a cup during the registration process.  You’ll get your HydraPak speed cup at bib pick-up.

Course Information

All events start and finish at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead located on McNaught Rd in Cable, WI!

Time Limits

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and there are time limits for each event!

The following time limits are in place for each event:

  • Ultramarathon: 17. 5 hours, must cross the finish line by 11 pm
  • Marathon:  7 hours, must cross the finish line by 3 pm
  • Half Marathon: 4 hours
  • Trek: 4 hours
  • 5K: 2 hours

Relays must cross the finish line by 3 pm for the Marathon events and 11 pm for the Ultra.


Marathon & Marathon Relay
Presented by Carlson MD and Earth Rider Brewery

Half Marathon/Marathon Course Map

Marathon Course Map

Total Distance: 26.2 miles
Get ready for two laps of the course!

Presented by Anderson’s Maple Syrup

Half Marathon/Marathon Course Map

Half Marathon Course Map

Total Distance: 13.1 miles

We are proud to be hosting the 2021 USATF Half Marathon Trail Championship!

Participants do not have to be USATF members to run in the half marathon, but must have a valid USATF membership to place on the USATF Half Marathon Trail Championship podium.  Click here for more information on WI USATF membership.  For more information on the USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships, please email

Athletes who participate in National Championships and Team USA competitions are subject to drug testing performed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in accordance with the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing.


100 km Ultramarathon and Ultra Relay
Presented by Sidas

Ultramarathon Course Map

Ultramarathon Course Map

Total Distance: 100km, 62 miles

2021 Ultra Course Description

2021 Ultra Course Driving Directions

The Ultra course will follow the half marathon course to Timber Trail aid station.  At Timber Trail, it will continue on the Birkie Skate trail and single track trails towards OO.  The course will turn onto the classic trail at OO and follow the classic trail and single track trails back through Boedecker and Fire Tower Aid stations to where it meets the half marathon course at the intersection of Timber Trail Rd.  Near the finish area, the Ultra course will take the Lap bypass, go through the start area and head back on the course for lap 2.  Each lap is approximately 31 miles.

Aid Station Options

Along with water, Nuun, and GU, Ultra aid stations will be stocked with basic food choices for individual Ultra runners. 2021 Food Options for Ultra Individuals. Below is an example of what you will find at an aid station.  Food options will vary depending on location.  Please pack your own food if you are concerned about any specific dietary needs.

Individual wrap string cheese
Miniature candy bars
Pop tarts
Small boxes of raisins
Small, single size bags of chips
Fig bars
Chicken and vegetable broth
Cheese quesadillas/grilled cheese
PBJ sandwiches
Applesauce puches

Friday, September 24th 6:00 p.m. — Ultramarathon pre-race briefing- Mandatory!  If you are not able to attend in person, please contact

5 km Run / Walk
Presented by Kemps

Total distance 5 km (3.1 miles)

5k Run/Walk Map

5k Run/Walk Map

The 5km course will take you on the Birkie Skate trail to smaller ski trails and give you a tour of some of the expanded trail system around the American Birkebeiner Trailhead.  With 350 feet of elevation gain, it’s a nice rolling course to put your legs to the test!


Nordic Trek
Presented by Leki Poles

Total distance: 8.5 miles *Due to trail construction, the Trek is now 9 miles!

  • 900 feet of elevation gain on the Trek course.
  • The Trek course will follow most of the Half Marathon course, but head back to the finish earlier to offer a shorter distance.  The Trek course will join with the 5K course after the Stadium aid station before making its way to the finish line.  This event is timed for safety purposes, but no overall or age group awards are given.


1 km Kids Dash
Presented by Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

The 1 km Kids Dash course will start and finish at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead following ski trails for a fun run.  No overall or age group awards are given, also no t-shirts available.  Team Birkie will lead the kids around the 1K course! Total distance 1 km.

Dive for the Dirt

Kids can have fun and stay active all day at the Trail Run!  Climb over, through, on, and in obstacles! Wear athletic shoes and bring some energy!

Bib Pick-Up

Bib Pick-up

  • No Race Day Registration – Registration for individual races is available online only until Friday, September 24th at 7:00 pm central time.
  • All Relay Teams must be registered by 11:59 pm central time, Wednesday, September 22nd.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Bib Pick-Up is from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Bib Pick-Up starts at 6:30 am at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead

Race Day Schedule & Information

5:30 AMUltra Marathon Start
6:30 AMUltra Marathon Relay Start
6:30 AMBib Pick Up Opens
8:00 AMMarathon Start
8:30 AMMarathon Relay Start
9:00 AMDive for the Dirt Kid's Obstacle Course Open
9:15 AMHalf Marathon Start
9:30 AMTrek Start
9:45 AM5K Start
10:30 AMPost Race Party Begins
11:00 AM5K Overall & Age Group Awards
11:35 AMHalf Marathon Awards - Overall, Age Class and USATF National Championship
11:45 AMKid's Warm Up & 1 km Race
12:45 PM Marathon Awards - Overall, Relay
1:15PM Marathon Age Group Awards
3:00 PMFinal Marathon Finish Cut-Off
6:00 PMUltra Champion Awards
11:00 PMFinal Ultra Finisher Cut-Off


Getting to the Start

All of the races will start and finish at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead.  Arrive at the start from Telemark Rd- take Hwy M east from Cable, take a right (south) on Telemark Rd., drive past the old lodge and follow the signs to parking and/or bib pick-up.  Exit the start/finish area on McNaught Rd.  There is ample parking at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead.

Aid Stations

Birkie GreenThere are three Aid Station locations for the Birkie Trail Run (most are used twice) depending on the race.  There are no aid stations on the 5K course. Aid Stations WILL NOT supply disposable paper cups.  Bring your own hydration vessel.

Ultramarathon Support

Ultramarathon participants may have drop bags transported to aid stations. All drop bags must have the runner’s name and the name of the aid station clearly marked on them. Bags should be brought to the race start Saturday morning.  Please deposit your bag on the appropriate destination tarp for transport to each aid station.  See Ultra directions for more details.  Drop bag service will not be offered for any other race distances.

Food options will most likely be pre-packaged option again in 2021.  Food options available for Ultra runners will likely include: small cans of cola, bananas/oranges, salty snacks, cup of noodles, Pop Tarts, raisins, miniature candy bars, and string cheese. Hot water will be available at all aid stations except the Stadium station.  Specific details will be available in September.

Drop Outs

If you are dropping out of the race, please report to an Aid Station Chief or at the Finish.  All Ultramarathon runners that drop out must report to Command Central.  See Ultramarathon participant guide for more information.


Ultramarathon runners will need a light for at least a portion of the race. Sunrise is at 7:00 am and sunset at 6:52 pm. Unless you plan on finishing long before sunset, you should plan on having access to a light. Runners will not be allowed to leave an aid station after 5:00 pm without a light.

Post Race Party

After you finish, enjoy a post race meal courtesy of Northern Lakes Cooperative.  Enjoy an italian chicken or portebella mushroom sandwich, chips, and dessert- find a nice outdoor space to eat and watch runners finish!

Celebrate with an Earth Rider beer at the finish!  One beer/participant.


Spectators are encouraged to attend the event and follow all COVID19 safety protocols.  Mask are required in all indoor spaces.  Please perform a self check before attending the event and stay home if you are not feeling well.   If you are planning to cheer on a runner at an aid station, please keep away from the immediate area around the workers.  Keep in mind that parking space is limited at the Timber Trail aid station.  If you would like to get text and/or email updates when a runner hits a race checkpoint, click here.

Please … No Dogs at Event

To assure the safety of all participants and spectators, no pets or strollers are allowed on the course. Pets are also not allowed anywhere on the event grounds, including the course, start/finish line area, Great Hall, food, and spectator areas.

Train with Team Birkie

Make it a weekend of training and racing with Team Birkie!  Meet the top skiers in the Midwest that are members of the newly formed Team Birkie.  Stretch, learn, run, and rollerski with the Team to have an active and fun weekend!

Friday:  6pm, American Birkebeiner Trailhead. Join Team Birkie for a light stretch session to make sure you are limber for whichever race you participate in on Saturday.  Learn how to plan your Saturday morning warm-up and optimize your fuel for race day.  Meet outside of Bib Pick-up.

Saturday: Team Birkie athletes will be competing in the Half Marathon and Marathon.  After they run, the athletes will be ready to take on the kid’s race!  Team Birkie Athletes will warm up the kid’s and lead them out on the 1K course.  See them at the finish line for chocolate milk!

Sunday: Join the Team for an Over Distance skate rollerski.  Meet in the parking lot at the OO Trailhead and be ready to ski at 8:45am.


Every participant in the Birkie Trail Run events will receive a post-race meal, including your first beer or soda for free! The first 900 registered will receive a commemorative t-shirt.

Please stay tuned for award procedures.

100k Ultramarathon Awards


The top male and female runners will receive a certificate for a pair of Salomon shoes! Second and third place male and female runners will receive podium awards.

Marathon Awards


The first male and female across the line in the Marathon will receive a certificate for a pair of Salomon shoes!  Second and third place overall will receive podium awards.

Just added!  Prize money for the marathon!

Cash prizes for the Marathon- male and female. From Presenting Sponsor, CARLSON MD:

  • 1st place $200
  • 2nd place $100
  • 3rd place $50

Age Class

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place runners, male and female, will receive a special award in each of the following classes:

  • Marathon – 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+

Half-Marathon Awards

A total of $6000 in prize money!


The first male and female across the line in the Half-Marathon will receive a certificate for a pair of Salomon shoes!  Second and third place overall will receive podium awards.

Cash prizes for the Half Marathon, male and female:

  • 1st place $1000
  • 2nd place $800
  • 3rd place $600
  • 4th place $400
  • 5th place $200

Age Class

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place runners, male and female, will receive a special award in each of the following classes:

  • Half Marathon – 13-17,18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+

USATF Half Marathon Trail Championship

The first male and female USATF members across the finish line will win the USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships!  Make sure your USATF number is current or become a member here.

USATF members are also eligible for USATF Age Group Awards in the following categories:

  • Open (top 10)
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75-79
  • 80-84
  • 85-89
  • 90-94

5K Awards


The first male and female across the line in the 5k will receive a certificate for a pair of Salomon shoes!  Second and third place overall will receive podium awards.

Age Class

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place runners, male and female, will receive a special award in each of the following classes:

  • 5 km – 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-17, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69,70-79, 80+

Marathon Relay Awards

Each team member of the overall first place 3- and 6-person relay teams will be awarded  a certificate for a pair of Salomon shoes!

Relays are awarded in the following categories: Open Men; Open Women; Open Mixed Gender; Master (40+)  Men; Master (40+) Women; Master (40+) Mixed Gender

Ultramarathon Relay Awards

Each team member of the overall first place team will be awarded a certificate for a pair of Salomon shoes!

There is only one category for the Ultramarathon relay.

Travel & Lodging

North Woods Getaway

The Birkie Trail Run Events start and finish at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead, located about 17 miles north of Hayward, WI, the “Gateway to the Historic Northwoods” in the town of Cable, WI. Within driving distance from Duluth, MN 1:30, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 3:00, Madison, WI 4:50, and Chicago, IL 7:20.

Lodging Options Are Available from the Regional Tourism Offices

No onsite camping will be available in 2021.

Hayward Lakes Visitor & Convention Bureau

Sawyer County, WI, USA
800-724-2992 or 715-634-4801

Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce

800-724-2992 or 715-634-8662

Cable Area Chamber of Commerce


Rice Lake Tourism

800-523-6318 or 715-234-8888

Ashland Chamber of Commerce


Celebrate Your Run

Post-Race Celebration

The post-race celebration may look differently than in a typical year.  We’ll keep you updated with the latest and what you can expect from our friends at the Northern Lake Coop and Earth Rider Brewery. 

Gear Up

Stay well hydrated at the Birkie Trail Run. You will carry your own hydration and fuel with you for this event—water refill will be available. Find the perfect solution for you, from handhelds to packs.  Click here for hydration gear options.

Train to Run

Be ready for those Birkie hills! Running uphill often seems too hard or we try to run too quickly and explode. Improve your uphill technique with these tips.

Uphill Running Tips
Training Plans


Want to get involved, see the event up close and personal, be part of what makes Birkie events great?
We love Birkie Volunteers!

Click Here to Volunteer!

Elite Athletes

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is committed to supporting elite athletes at all of our events. Send inquiries to to see what support is available.




Title Sponsor



Carlson MD
Presenting Sponsor
Earth Rider Brewery
Earth Rider Brewery
Presenting Sponsor
Marathon Relay
Presenting Sponsor
100K Ultra / Ultra Relay
Anderson's Maple Syrup
Anderson’s Maple Syrup
Presenting Sponsor
Half Marathon
Leki Poles
Leki Poles
Presenting Sponsor
Presenting Sponsor
Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Presenting Sponsor
1K Kids Race
Northern Lakes CooperativeNorthern Lakes Cooperative
Presenting Sponsor
Post-Race Lunch



Gu Energy
Backroads Coffee
Marketplace Foods