For the first time, Minnesota overtook Wisconsin in skier participants in 2016 in the American Birkebeiner – North America’s largest cross-country ski race (50K/55K), Kortelopet – North America’s second largest cross-country ski race (29K) and Prince Haakon (15K) ski races in Hayward, Wis.
In February of 2016, skiers from 22 countries and 46 states participated in Birkie races with more than 4,425 participants from Minnesota and 4105 participants from Wisconsin. As of September 1, more than 8000 skiers have already registered for 2017 Birkie week ski races. Which state will take the lead when the 2017 American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation events arrive?
There will be a price increase on Sept. 9 for Birkie events, with the final price increase on Nov. 4.
Thursday, February 23, 2017 – Barnebirkie, Junior Birkie, and other Nordic events.
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Both the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races will finish in downtown Hayward with the 29K Kortelopet starting at the Highway OO Trailhead and the 15K Prince Haakon starting near Mosquito Brook.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – For the first time ever, on Saturday, February 25, 2017, the 44th Annual Slumberland American Birkebeiner skiers will line-up at the new Birkie permanent start, made possible by Phase 1 of the ABSF’s first-ever capital campaign which launched in 2015. The 2017 American Birkebeiner will christen the start as skiers embark on an over 50K journey (50K skate/55K classic) to their final destination at the finish line in downtown Hayward, WI.
There is a 10,800 participant race cap for the combined three races. Registration will close when this cap is reached. Wave Placement is based on first registered, first seeded basis. Once a wave has filled, participants will be placed in the next available wave.
March 11, 2017, marks the Fat Bike Birkie, the world’s largest fat bike race, where riders choose between a 46K (The Big Fat) and 23K (The Chico) rides through the northwoods on perfectly groomed trails. Now in its fifth year, the race has grown from fewer than 200 riders in 2013 to a capped registration of 1,200 riders in 2017. Riders from as far away as England and Finland participated in the 2016 race, which attracted racers from two countries and 14 states.
Registration for all events is available at www.Birkie.com. Registration for all remaining Birkie week events opened on September 6 (Barnebirkie, Junior Birkie, Nikkerbeiner, Birkie Sprints, Giant Ski, Barkie Birkie Skijor) at www.Birkie.com.