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  • Massage therapists relieve aching muscles

    A  hard run, some hill climbs on a road bike, an hour of cross-country skiing or a day of portaging canoes and carrying packs in the Quetico. When I do any of these things my muscles will be complaining the next day. The best antidote for those sore muscles might be a visit to a massage therapist.

  • Birkie roots run deep
    It’s no wonder that Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, has such a burning passion to get children and families outside and on cross-country skis. He started skiing with his family in Phillips, Wisconsin, not long after he had learned to walk.
  • Paralympian skiers take flight
    All the other competitors proved their drive, courage and perseverance long before they entered the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships, that took place on the trails of Telemark Resort near Cable, Wisconsin.
  • Backcountry vs. frontcountry
    What are the advantages and disadvantages to snowshoeing in either backcountry or frontcountry areas? First what is the backcountry and frontcountry?
  • Stoked students
    A new sport enjoyed a successful first season at Hortonville High School in Hortonville, Wisconsin, as mountain bikers formed a competitive team that raced in the Wisconsin High School Cycling League (WHSCL) this year.
  • How to get kids hooked on cross-country skiing
    Let’s face it, our sport requires more physical exertion than it gives gravity thrills. It takes patience and practice to develop good technique. The venue is outside, in the dead of winter, without ski lifts. All this means that children can quickly lose interest and get frustrated. However, for families who manage to get their children hooked, cross-country skiing can become an important and positive part of their lives.
    
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  • Birkie Fever for all
    Starting as a secretary of the American Birkebeiner organization in 1986, Shellie Milford rose to assistant director, chief of race and race operations director. But Milford will retire after the 2015 Birkie, leaving huge boots to fill as the chief problem solver, crisis calmer, disaster averter and volunteer recruiter for the race. 
  • Throw the flag!
    In general, cross-country skiers are thought of as friendly and civil. But whenever you have 10,000 people turn out for a competitive event like the Birkie, there will always be a few issues. 
  • Double your poling pleasure
    "It’s simple,"CXC's Andy Keller said. "Both classic and skate skiing require double poling, and most people have easy-to-correct flaws. Addressing those will help everyone have more fun on skis, from the three-times-a-season skiers to every weekend racers. 
THE ACTIVE PURSUIT
with Tom Held
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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
  • How was the coldest day of the year for you?
    Last year we were left stumbling by the unceasing cold that settled like a 60-day cloud of depression. This year we got gut punched by the Packers, an ache that will linger long after the cold fades.  
  • Training on rainy days
    XC Skiing with Mitch Mode
    I have learned to take comfort on rainy days when dawn brings grayness and haze settles on the land as a heavy blanket. 
  • Hill Climbing 101
    BEHIND THE BARS with Kierstin Kloeckner
    As a trainer and cycling coach, I am constantly urging clients who don’t like hills to give them another shot. After all, is riding through flat cornfields day after day really that much fun? By learning to embrace climbing, a whole new world opens up. 
  • Acquired skills
    XC SKIING with Mitch Mode
     None of this is instinctive. We are not born accomplished skiers. It is an acquired skill. Technique is the driver. Without it we flail, energy wasted. Our enthusiasm may know no bounds, but bad technique is an open window as the furnace runs hot. Technique comes with time and with work. It is malleable, changing form as our experience grows. We may be born to ski but we are not born competent skiers. 
  • The way of the blade
    PADDLING with Darren Bush
    There are no right or wrong paddles. If you are a fan of big blades for flatwater paddling, then more power (literally) to you. Do you like skinny little Greenland kayak paddles? By all means, use them. Like a bent shaft canoe paddle or a traditional willow-leaf design? Good for you. As the French say, 
    à chacun son goût
    .
     
  • The best Birkie ever
    FOOTLOOSE with Bruce Steinberg
    Carol and I raised over $6,500 in pledges for a clinic that specialized in macular degeneration research. All I had to do was finish the 1994 Birkie filled with the calamities; calamities that paled in comparison to what Carol and other sufferers of macular degeneration have to cope with every day.
     
  • Quenching your thirst
    GEAR with Lou Dzierzak
    There are more options than ever to carry water with you on your adventures. Once limited to heavy plastic bottles stored in hip belt holsters, athletes can now choose from handhelds, belts with multiple bottles and lightweight technical vests.
     
  • Movin’ Shoes
    RUNNING with Tom Kaufman
    The initial inventory of Movin’ Shoes was four pairs of shoes hanging on a peg board. The first running shoes sold were Tiger Nylon and Leather Cortez. These were soon followed by Blue Ribbon Sports’ (Nike) Nylon and Leather Cortez. The cost of those first running shoes? About $15.
     
BLOGGERS
PHOTO GALLERIES
VIDEOS
Casey Randolph speedskating demo
2002 Olympic gold medalist and Wisconsin native Casey FitzRandolph demonstrates and talks about his sport at the Edgewater Hotel rink in Madison during the Frozen Assets Festival on February 7, 2015.
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