Individual Race and Team Sprint Relay for Youth ages 6 years to High School

The Junior Birkie, presented by Gear West and Rossignol, is for Junior skiers that are ready to race!  The event starts behind the Hayward Intermediate and Primary Schools and finishes at the American Birkebeiner Finish Line on Main Street in Hayward. There are two race distances for the different Junior Birkie age groups. The first 350 participants will get a Junior Birkie hat.

Junior Birkie

The Junior Birkie Team Sprint Relays will start and finish in downtown Hayward on the American Birkebeiner Finish Line. Teams are composed of 2 or 3 members (depending on age group) of the same gender and age group. Teams may represent a club or school team, but no affiliation with each other is necessary.  If you would like to participate in the team relay but are without a team, indicate that in your registration and we will do our best to match you up with another racer needing a teammate. Unofficial teams of mixed gender and/or ages will be allowed to race, but will not be eligible for awards.

Age Groups & Distances

Freestyle Individual Mass Start Races

Youth skiers are assigned an age group based on their year of birth, not by age on race day. All races are freestyle technique – competitors may use skate or classic technique, however, there will not be any classic tracks set on the courses.  U8 and U10 age groups will ski 1.5 km, U12 and U14 will ski 3.0 km.

Team Sprint Relay

  • Official teams must be the same gender and age group.  Teams may mix gender and/or age group but will not be eligible for an award.
  • Each age group and gender class is limited to 15 teams.
  • U8-U14 age group teams will consist of 2 skiers, each completing a 500 m course.
  • U16 and High School team will consist of 3 skiers, each completing a 800 m course.
  • Teams may represent a school or club team, however this is not a requirement.
  • A participant without a team may still register and can be matched with another team.
  • New in 2020 – a Team Costume Contest!  One team in each age group will be awarded the best costume winner- use your imagination and creativity to make the Jr. Birkie relay a crazy, fun event!

Race Schedule

Individual Race Schedule

1:30 pmU8 & U10 Boys1.5 km
1:40 pmU8 & U10 Girls1.5 km
1:50 pmU12 Boys 3 km
2:00 pmU12 Girls3 km
2:10 pmU14 Boys 3 km
2:20 pmU14 Girls3 km

Team Sprint Relay Race Schedule

3:00 pmU8 & U10 Boys and Girls Relay2 x 500m
3:05 pmU12 Girls Relay2 x 500m
3:10 pmU12 Boys Relay2 x 500m
3:15 pmU14 Girls Relay2 x 500m
3:20 pmU14 Boys Relay2 x 500m
3:25 pmU16 and High School Girls Relay3 x 800m
3:30 pmU16 and High School Boys Relay3 x 800m

Bib Pick Up

Thursday, February 25 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the registration tent in the Recovery Zone on 4th and Wisconsin Ave.

Venue and Course Map

The Junior Birkie will start behind the Hayward Primary and Intermediate Schools.  The 1.5k course will travel through the adjacent golf course and head down Main Street. The 3K course will travel over the American Birkebeiner International Bridge, turn around, cross the bridge again and ski back up Main Street.  The 1K course will travel through the golf course and finish on Main Street (no bridge crossing).  The Junior Birkie finishes at the American Birkebeiner Finish Line on Main Street. There will be a continuous shuttle service between the Spectator Parking Lots on Hwy B, Bib pick-up near the Intermediate School and Start Area, and the Celebration Plaza near the Finish line and back to the Spectator Lot. Please help ease the traffic congestion by utilizing the designated parking lots and the shuttles.

1K Junior Birkie Course

3K Junior Birkie Course

Team Relay Sprint Races will all take place on Main Street.  The start and finish will all happen at the American Birkebeiner Finish Line.  The Team Sprint Race course will not utilize the American Birkebeiner International Bridge.



Post Race

Refreshments will be available in the Celebration Plaza.


Each age group race will have an award ceremony immediately following it at the Champion’s Stage in the Celebration Plaza.

The top three boys and girls for each age group will be awarded a prize.

The first place relay team in the boys and girls category for each age group will be awarded a prize.

All finishers will receive a Junior Birkie medal.


View Junior Birkie Results »

If you cannot pick up your award on Race Day, you can click here to request that it be mailed to you for $8.  All requests must be made by the end of March, 2020.  


Gear West Co-Presenting Sponsor
Rossignol Co-Presenting Sponsor

Save the Date

Future Birkie Week Dates:

2021: February 25 – 27

2022: February 24 – 26

2023: February 23 – 25