First race: 24th February 1973, 48 km (34 participants), 22 km (19 participants)
Highest number of participants in main race: 9183 (5851 skate skiers and 3332 classic skiers) in 2011
Worldloppet membership: founding member
American Birkebeiner was founded in 1973 by Tony Wise, alpine ski resort owner of village Cable. In the beginning of the 1970s he understood that surrounding rolling hills and wooden trails were ideal for cross-country skiing, which was not yet popular in America. Wise, who had roots from Norway, brought to life the American version of the Birkebeinerrennet to attract more customers to his resort. Within a few years thousands of skiers were participating and his dream of becoming an international race came true. With the American Birkebeiner well on its way, Wise started to work on his dream of an international cross country ski series, which finalized in the founding of the Worldloppet. Today the American Birkebeiner ski event hosts over 10000 participants.
The American Birkebeiner ski race is held in the beautiful north woods of Wisconsin. A new classic trail was added in 2007. Beginning at the start line, the 20-foot wide classic trail weaves through forested terrain, merges back into the Birkie Trail at Food Station locations and then merges completely at 23 kilometers. The new trail is groomed with three sets of tracks giving classic skiers better tracks and skate skiers more room over the most congested section of the race. The undulating Birkie trail traverses 32 miles of some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain of any trail system in the world.
HOW TO GET TO THE AMERICAN BIRKEBEINER
By plane: Hayward and Cable are located in Northwestern Wisconsin, approximately three hours from the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota airport. International and national flights service both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota.
By car: Hayward is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Illinois, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis - St. Paul), Duluth, Minnesota as well as many other outlying areas.
Distances: Chicago to Hayward, 425 Miles (683 Kilometers); Minneapolis to Hayward, 150 Miles (240 Kilometers); Duluth to Hayward, 80 Miles (130 Kilometers)
INTERESTING TO KNOW ABOUT
All of the previous winners of the Birkebeiner are invited to attend the 40th anniversary in 2013. The first winner, Eric (Sam Ersson), from Sweden, will be attending and will participate in many of the events. Elite skiers who are participating in the FIS Marathon Cup will also be skiing!Registration form »Previous results »Tips for travelling » (if you don't want to travel alone... have look at the IAWLS page)