Set your sights on Birkie 2021 and you’ll have something positive to train for, look forward to, be a part of, plan for.  It will be a 2021 Birkie experience to remember!  #BirkieStrongerTogether

The Slumberland American Birkebeiner®:

  • Spans 50 kilometers from Cable to Hayward for Skaters, and 55K for Classic Skiers
  • North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon
  • Skiers from 49 States and 27 countries participated in 2020!
  • Part of the Worldloppet circuit of over 20 international ski marathons


During these times of uncertainty, we remain committed to providing inspiring opportunities to promote a healthy active lifestyle and wellness events for all.  We don’t have all of the answers today, however, we promise you this: 

  • The 2021 Birkie, Korte, and Prince Haakon will happen, they may just look differently than they traditionally do.
  • You’ll receive your race bib, your participant SWAG, and if you complete the 2021 event that you are registered for (even if unconventional), you’ll get credit for skiing your race.
  • We will take every safety precaution and measure to ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, spectators, and staff.
  • For skiers with travel barriers, who are immunocompromised, or are simply uncomfortable traveling to NW Wisconsin for their race, we have introduced a virtual option for the 2021 Birkie.  Simply select “virtual” during registration.  You’ll get your race bib, your hat, and if you complete your race (on skis or rollerskis from wherever you are), you’ll get credit and earn your pin.  Additional details coming soon.
  • See the Event Update page for information as it is developed.

2021 Slumberland American Birkebeiner
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Tier Entry Fee Tier Status & Registration

Tier 1


Tier 1 First 3000 American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet & Prince Haakon Skiers – Closed 5/5/20

Tier 2


Tier 2 - American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon Skiers - Closed 7/17/20

Tier 3


Tier 3 - American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon Skiers

Tier 4


Tier 4 will open after Tier 3 is full

Birkie Skate Waves

Birkie Classic Waves

All participants must be 18 years of age or older on race day to register for the American Birkebeiner.

It is important to always register under the same name (exact spelling) every year in order to keep track of your previous race finishes.

If you are unsure of the name you have previously registered under or if you changed your name, please call the Birkie office at 715-634-5025, Ext. 0, or email

Virtual Event Option

For skiers that aren’t able to travel to Hayward/Cable, or skiers that don’t feel comfortable traveling in February of 2021, we are offering a virtual event for the American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon.  Register for your event now and choose to participate virtually.  You’ll receive your bib and participant hat in the mail so you can wear your bib on race day.  Complete your event on skis or rollerskis on the event day and within the event time limit, track your race using a GPS based app or have a reliable eyewitness verify your results.  Submit your results and you will receive credit for the race and your finish pin.  More details and specifics will be announced early this winter.  Participants already registered will be able to change to the virtual option this winter.

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 the 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!

2021 Birkie Gear BagAvailable During Race Registration Only!

It’s Back for 2021!  Everywhere we looked during Birkie week 2020, we witnessed skiers using their awesome reusable Birkie gear bags!  This year, as part of our ongoing Birkie Green initiative we’ve designed an all new custom Birkie gear bag with SWIX!  The reusable Birkie gear bag is available for $47 and only during registration for the Birkie, Korte, Prince Haakon and Fat Bike Birkie.  Through your support, over 10,000 Birkie gear bags are now in use, keeping thousands upon thousands of plastic bags out of landfills. Thank you for your support of Birkie Green!
See details here.

Birkie Gear Bag

Birkie GreenAs part of 2021 race registration, ABSF members will automatically receive a copy of the 2021 Birch Scroll® magazine. If you are not a member and would like to join the ABSF or would like to purchase a copy of the 2021 Birch Scroll results issue, you may pre-order a copy during your race registration process. As part of ongoing Birkie Green initiatives, all registered participants will receive a digital copy of the 2021 Birch Scroll magazine.

Wave Placement

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation utilizes a seeded start structure for four of its events:  Birkebeiner Skate, Birkebeiner Classic, Kortelopet Skate, and Kortelopet Classic.  Participants are seeded into start waves based on their race history.  The first priority for wave placement is your best result from 2018 – 2020 Birkie events for the same event for which you are registering- distance and technique (see the Wave Seeding Criteria tables below).

If you do not have a finish time for that specific event (same distance & technique) from 2018 -2020, but do have a finish time from any of the other distances/techniques, you will be placed in a wave based on the best finish result from that event, plus or minus an adjustment factor which accounts for the historical difference in the strength of competition between the races (see the Event Adjustment Factor table below).  If you have participated in multiple Birkie events in 2018-2020, wave placement criteria will use results from the similar distance race, then from a similar technique.

Participants who do not have a Birkie event finish time from those years will be placed in the last wave.  The goal of wave placement is to place participants of similar abilities together to minimize passing and encourage a smooth flowing race.

There are also three special waves for those who qualify; Spirit of 35, Wave 70, and Elite Wave. Details for each are found below.

Birkie Skate Wave Closings (as of 11:59pm Central)

Wave 1 Closed as of May 18

Wave 2 Closed as of June 12

Wave 3 Closed as of August 5

Birkie Classic Wave Closings (as of 11:59pm Central)

Wave 1 Closed as of July 7

Wave 2 Closed as of September 11

Birkebeiner Skate Wave Seeding Criteria

Birkie Skate 2020 Finish Time2020 PBE2019 Finish Time2019 PBE2018 Finish Time2018 PBE
Wave 1Up to 2:41:17Up to 35.5%Up to 3:11:35Up to 44.5%Up to 2:57:00Up to 44.5%
Wave 22:41:18 to 2:54:2335.5% to 46.5%3:11:36 to 3:30:0944.5% to 58.5%2:57:01 to 3:14:0944.5% to 58.5%
Wave 32:54:24 to 3:07:2846.5% to 57.5%3:30:10 to 3:47:2358.5% to 71.5%3:14:10 to 3:30:0558.5% to 71.5%
Wave 43:07:29 to 3:25:1957.5% to 72.5%3:47:24 to 4:04:3771.5% to 84.5%3:30:06 to 3:46:0071.5% to 84.5%
Wave 53:25:20 to 3:44:2272.5% to 88.5%4:04:38 to 4:28:2984.5% to 102.5%3:46:01 to 4:08:0384.5% to 102.5%
Wave 63:44:23 to 4:22:2788.5% to 120.5%4:28:30 to 5:04:16102.5% to 129.5%4:08:04 to 4:41:07102.5% to 129.5%
Wave 74:22:28 and Up120.5% and Up5:04:17 and Up129.5% and Up4:41:08 and Up129.5% and Up
Wave 8

Birkebeiner Classic Wave Seeding Criteria

Birkie Classic2020 Finish Time2020 PBE2019 Finish Time2019 PBE2018 Finish Time2018 PBE
Wave 1Up to 3:46:46Up to 54.5%Up to 4:17:27

Up to 39.5%Up to 4:10:34
Up to 49.5%
Wave 23:46:47 to 4:21:5954.5% to 78.5%
4:17:28 to 4:54:2139.5% to 59.5%4:10:35 to 4:47:26
49.5% to 71.5%
Wave 34:22:00 to 5:01:3778.5% to 105.5%
4:54:22 to 5:27:34 59.5% to 77.5%4:47:27 to 5:25:5971.5% to 94.5%
Wave 45:01:38 to 5:50:03105.5% to 138.5%
5:27:35 to 6:11:5277.5% to 101.5%5:26:00 to 6:14:3594.5% to 123.5%
Wave 55:50:04 and Up138.5% and Up6:11:53 and Up101.5% and Up6:14:36 and Up123.5% and Up
Wave 6


Event Adjustment Factors

Event You are Registering For in 2021Using Previous Birkie Skate ResultUsing Previous Birkie Classic ResultUsing Previous Korte Skate ResultUsing Previous Korte Classic ResultUsing Previous Prince Haakon Result
Birkie Skate0+ 8 %+ 15 %+ 15 %Wave 7
Birkie Classic- 8 %0+ 8%+ 8 %Wave 5
Korte Skate- 15 %- 7 %00Wave 4
Korte Classic- 15 %- 7 %00Wave 3

Event/Technique Change Request

Participants may request to change from the Birkie to the Korte or Prince Haakon, and/or change technique between Skate and Classic at any time until 4:00pm CST on January 19, 2021. Wave placement is subject to availability at time of request. If the wave that you qualify for is full, you will be assigned to the next wave with space available. A change fee of $25 will be applied. You will receive an updated e-mail confirmation reflecting the change once the change has been made. If you do NOT receive an updated e-mail confirmation within 10 business days, contact

Click here to request an Event/Technique change.

Wave Upgrade Request

Participants may utilize their result from the list of qualifier competitions to improve on their placement from the above criteria. Similar to the comparison between the American Birkebeiner events, the results of the qualifiers will be adjusted based on the strength of competition, distance, and course elevation profile.

Click here to make a wave upgrade request by 4:00pm CST on January 19, 2021. All requests will be charged a $15 service fee, whether a wave upgrade is granted or not. Wave upgrades are subject to availability. If the wave that you qualify for is full, you will be assigned to the next wave with space available. You will receive an updated wave placement email confirmation if an upgrade has been made. If you do NOT receive an updated e-mail confirmation within 10 business days, contact

Follow these steps to see if you are eligible for an upgrade:

  1. Determine your percent back in the qualifier race. Take the Difference in time between You and the Winner. Divide that by the Winner’s time. (Example: your time is 2:36, winning time is 2:00; Difference =36 minutes/2 hours = 0.3 x 100 = 30% back)
  2. Determine your Percent Back Equivalency (PBE). Add the qualifier race’s Adjustment Factor, which is found on the Qualifier List. PBE = Your % Back + Adjustment Factor (Example your 30% back + 57% Adjustment Factor = 87% Back Equivalency.)
  3. Determine where your Percent Back Equivalency (PBE) would place you. Look up your PBE in the 2020 column of the Wave Seeding Table of the race for which you are registered. (Example: A PBE of 87% will place you in Wave 5 for Birkie Skate or Wave 2 for Birkie Classic or Wave 3 Korte Skate or Wave 1 Korte Classic)

Request an upgrade only if your PBE will place you in a lower wave.  Make sure you have completed steps 1-3 before submitting your request as there are no refunds.

Celebrated and Elite Athletes

Spirit of 35

This wave celebrates the spirit of the 35 intrepid skiers who finished the first Birkie in 1973. It is comprised of a small group of skiers who have completed the most Birkies and therefore have a special place in the race’s history. The current group of Spirit skiers have at least 41 Birkies completed, including Birkie Founder, Ernie St. Germain, who has finished all 46 Birkies!

Wave 70

Cross country skiing is a lifestyle sport that allows people to stay active and healthy into their later years. Each year the Birkie provides an opportunity to celebrate this for more than two hundred skiers over the age of seventy! We recognize these skiers with a special bib and special wave.

35 Endowment Forerunners

These 35 major donors collectively gave nearly $1,000,000 to launch the Foundation for the Endowment of the American Birkebeiner, which provides a permanent source of funds for the American Birkebeiner organization. We recognize them permanently with their own specially numbered 35 white bibs.

Elite Wave

The Elite Wave is a long standing tradition at the American Birkebeiner. This wave accommodates competitors who have outstanding credentials from the previous year’s American Birkebeiner.  The top 200 male and 60 female finishers from the 2020 Birkie Skate race will automatically be assigned a starting position in the Elite Wave for the 2021 Birkie Skate race ONLY.  The top 100 male and 40 female finishers from the 2020 Birkie Classic race will automatically be assigned a starting position in the Elite Wave for the 2021 Birkie Classic race ONLY.  Athletes qualifying for the elite wave, but racing a different distance or technique in 2021 must request to be placed on the Elite Wave waitlist of that race at

Elite Wave registrations & Elite Waitlist requests close on January 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm CST.

Positions in the Elite Waves are only guaranteed for returning skiers who meet the above finish place criteria. No exceptions. If you have an Elite Wave finish two or more years prior, top Kortelopet finish, or other outstanding cross country ski race results, you may request to be added to the Elite Wave Waitlist by sending an email to Open positions in the Elite Wave will be filled from the Waitlist after January 26, 2021.

Seeded FIS Group

Competitors from all FIS member nations that meet the eligibility requirements will be included in the Seeded Group in the Birkie Skate Race. This group will start as part of the Men’s and Women’s Elite Birkie Skate Waves. However, these competitors will be assigned designated starting positions at the front of the wave and the rest of the elite wave must stay behind the seeded group until the gun goes off.

There is no Seeded Group in the Birkie Classic Race.

Eligibility for the Seeded Group requires that the competitors be active FIS members with at least one FIS race result in the 365 days prior to February 12, 2021, with:

  • fewer than 200 points for women and 150 points for men in competitions with a distance of 30 km or greater
  • fewer than 150 points for women and 125 points for men in competitions with distance less than 30 km

Registrations & Requests for Seeded Group entry must be sent to prior to February 12, 2021.

Team Captains Meeting

There will be a mandatory meeting for Seeded Group competitors at 5:00 pm on Friday, February 26, 2021 at the Hayward Veterans Community Center.
Athletes without team affiliation are encouraged to attend the meeting and will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Expo & Event Week Schedule

Birkie Expo

Check out great new skis, boots, poles, wax, gear, clothing, ways to fuel your active outdoor lifestyle, fat bikes, trail running shoes, and more! This is THE place for samples, swag, big discounts, and a chance to connect with some great organizations that support your passion for skiing and the Birkie community.  Stay tuned for the 2021 schedule on Thursday, February 25 and Friday, February 26!

Click Here for Birkie Expo Information »

Race Policies

The race is run according to the rules and regulations of the FIS and any special requirements stated in the entry form, Birch Scroll, this web site, and participant race instructions. Offenses against any of these rules may lead to disqualification for current or future events and the forfeiture of any and all awards.

All participants in the Birkebeiner must be 18 years of age by February 27, 2021. Kortelopet and Prince Haakon skiers must be 13 years of age by February 26, 2021. There are no refunds allowed for any reason including race cancellation. Entry fees are non-transferable between individuals or to future races.

Skiers must ski the distance they have registered for- no participant in the American Birkebeiner can ski the Kortelopet or Prince Haakon without officially changing their race entry (see above for how to request an Event change).  Participants who complete a technique for which they are not registered (for example – ski the skate course when they registered for classic) will be credited for completing the race but will not be given a finish time, will not be eligible for awards and will not be included in the official results.

Clothing Bag Procedures: policies for using the clothing transport from the start to the finish.

Participant Rules.

Trash Penalty

A trash penalty is now in place for all Birkie events. Any participant, coach, or support crew caught throwing waste on the trail or into the woods between aid stations could be assessed a 15 minute penalty. There will be “Last Chance” garbage disposal areas as you leave each aid stations at all 2021 races. Violators should be reported by bib number via email at or to a volunteer at the next aid station.  Read more in the Participant rules above.

Cut-Off Times

Cut-off times for races must be strictly followed for the safety of participants and volunteers.  Participants not following guidance from Medical Staff and Race Chiefs will risk penalty and possible ineligibility for future Birkie Events.

TimeLocationKilometer from Start/Course
11:10 amTimber Trail Aid Station7km Skate
9 km Classic
12:00 pmFire Tower Aid Station12 km Skate
15 km Classic
12:55 pmBoedecker Aid Station17 km Skate
21 km Classic
1:40 pm"OO" Aid Station21K Skate
26K Classic
3:00 pmGravel Pit Aid Station30 km Skate
35 km Classic
3:55 pmMosquito Brook Aid Station36 Km Skate
41 Km Classic
4:45 pmHatchery Park Aid Station42 Km Skate
47 Km Classic
6:00 pmFinish Line50 km Skate
55 km Classic

Virtual Trail & Course Tour

A complete list of maps and trail conditions can be found on the Trails page.

Birkie Skate Course Elevation Profile

Birkie Classic Course Elevation Profile

Birkie Course Trailmap ThumbnailClick the image above for PDF map.

Interactive Course Maps

Experience the race again or for the first time! Explore every leg of the race and feel the rush as you virtually ski the American Birkebeiner race! Immerse yourself in the 360 videos of the race start, cross the International Bridge, and witness the amazing finish on Hayward’s Main Street! Try skate or classic, this interactive map experience has it all!

Register for the Slumberland American Birkebeiner and make it real! Because…once the race is closed…it’s closed. Don’t miss out!

View Interactive Course Map »

Or, Tour the Interactive Birkie Trail Map »

Trail Genius Screenshot


Birkie Skate Overall Prize

Prize money will be awarded to the first six male and female competitors who cross the finish in the American Birkebeiner Skate Race. A total purse of $39,000 will be awarded in the increments below at an award ceremony in the Celebration Plaza.  All prize money is paid in US Dollars. Wire transfer is available for an $80 fee. Wire Transfer Form-Prize Money

PlacePrize Money (US $)

Tony Wise Award for the First American Finisher

A $2500 “Support American Skiing” award will be given to the top American male & female finishers in the American Birkebeiner Skate Race.  Wire transfer is available for an $80 fee. Wire Transfer Form-Prize Money

In addition, the first U.S. finishers will receive a premium, luxury mattress set from Slumberland, title sponsor of the American Birkebeiner.

Sprint Bonus Presented by Madshus

Two $500 Madshus Sprint Bonus will be awarded to the first male and female competitors in the Birkie Skate Race to cross the intermediate sprint lines.  The first sprint line is located right before the Birkie Skate course exits the powerline section and enters the woods at approximately 2.5K into the race.  The second sprint line is located prior to the OO Aid Station at 20K into the race. All prize money is paid in US Dollars. Wire transfer is available for an $80 fee. Wire Transfer Form-Prize Money

Wave Winner AwardsWin Your Birkie Wave... Win This Luxury Pillow Set!

From Slumberland, Title Sponsor of the American Birkebeiner:
Win Your Birkie Wave—Win a Pair of Pillows! The top male and female in waves 1 and up of the Birkie will each receive a Luxury Pillow Set from Slumberland, valued at $198!

* To Claim Your Award, check Birkie Results online then go directly to the Slumberland Furniture store on Highway 63 right in downtown Hayward to pick up your pair of premium pillows.  It’s close enough to walk from Main Street, or there is plenty of parking. Store Hours: SAT: 9-6 / SUN: 9-6. Unable to pick up your pillows? Have them shipped, at your expense, by March 31, 2020. Call the Birkie for details (715-634-5025).

Birkie Classic Overall Awards

Prize money will be awarded to the first three male and female competitors who cross the finish in the Birkie Classic Race at a ceremony held in the Celebration Plaza at 12:30 pm.

  • 1st Place $1000
  • 2nd Place $500
  • 3rd Place $250

All prize money paid in US Dollars. Wire transfer is available for $80 fee. Wire Transfer Form-Prize Money

Finisher Awards

First time American Birkebeiner Finishers will receive a commemorative medal at the finish.
Skiers finishing subsequent Birkies will receive a pin recognizing the number of American Birkebeiners completed at the finish.

Age Class Awards

Age class awards will be given to the top three males and females, in both the freestyle and classic races, in each of the following age classes. Awards are based on net finish time (finish arrival time minus start time). Age classes are:
18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, and 85 -89.

10 Year Awards

Birkie skiers completing their 10th race will be awarded a personalized commemorative plaque.

Birchlegger Awards

Birkie skiers completing their 20th race are eligible for the status of “Birchlegger”. Birchlegger is the English translation for the Norwegian, Birkebeinerne, the nick-name of the birch barked armored warriors who saved Prince Haakon. These special skiers are recognized with the honor of wearing a special bib in the race and a personalized award for 20, 30, and 40 years completed.
Birchleggers will receive their awards at a special breakfast hosted by the Birchleggings Club on Sunday morning following the Birkie. First time Birchleggers will be treated to breakfast at no charge.

If you can not attend the Birchleggings Club Breakfast to receive your award, they will be available at the Birkie Store Tent near the finish line on Main Street.

The Birchleggings Club is not a part of the American Birkebeiner Foundation. It is a separate organization dedicated to be “a strong promoter of continued participation in the American Birkebeiner and would contribute toward enhancement of the rich traditions that mark the Birkie as a unique skiing event.”


Start Line
American Birkebeiner Trailhead, Cable

Spectators may accompany racers to the start line to cheer them on as they begin their journey towards Main Street.  See the “How to Get to the Start” section above for information on getting to the Start.  Spectators can then ride a bus back to their cars at Birkie Ridge or Cable parking lots.

Finish Line
Main Street, Hayward

Skiers, whether elite or citizen, count on spectators to cheer them on as they set their sights on the finish line. Just when they think they’re fading, spectators provide an emotional lift that encourages them along their way. Catch Birkie Fever!

Watch, cheer, and ring cowbells for skiers.

Watch the live video from the start and along the course beginning at 8:00 am on the big screen from the Peoples Bank Midwest Celebration Plaza on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The first finishers are welcomed with the ringing of the church bells as they come off of Lake Hayward on to Main Street at approximately 10:50 am. Good viewing is possible along the length of Main Street.

Parking is available at designated parking lots with shuttle service throughout the day. There is limited street parking within the downtown area, respect the parking direction signs and utilize the parking lots.

For skier and spectator safety, there are no pedestrian crossings on Main Street.  Please use the access under the International Bridge for travel to the other side of the street.

Worldloppet & Visma Ski Classics

Worldloppet is an international association of long distance ski races, created in 1979 from the inspiration of American Birkebeiner creator, Tony Wise. The Birkie is one of the nine races that comprise the founding events.  The Worldloppet has grown to over 20 races on five continents. Learn more about Worldloppet Ambassadors, Passports, and the annual Birkie Week Worldloppet breakfast!

Visma Ski Classics

New in 2020! The Slumberland American Birkebeiner is the first American event to enter the world of Visma Ski Classics as a Challenger Series event. Based in Sweden, the Visma Ski Classics is an international, long-distance, skiing circuit. The Visma Ski Classics Challenger series was launched in 2019 as a common platform to connect and promote long distance skiing events worldwide. Learn more!

Lodging & Services


For lodging information, see our Lodging page.

Camp Birkie Childcare

First Lutheran Church has provided childcare for Birkie events on Friday and Saturday of Birkie week.  Stay tuned for 2021 plans!

For information on Camp Birkie, click here.

Wax Services

Wax Services

Get your skis waxed by the best! Check out the services below from NEW MOON and GEAR WEST!

Future Event Dates

Future Birkie Week Dates:

2022: February 24 – 26

2023: February 23 – 25