The American Birkebeiner has just made an announcement about this week’s event. It follows:
44th Birkie Week Events Change Due to Weather Conditions
Hayward, WI (February 20, 2017) – In light of the recent above average temperatures, along with continued warm weather conditions and rain forecast for today, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has announced that an adjustment to the overall race course for Birkie Week events is required.
After this weekend’s warm weather, Lake Hayward is no longer a viable option for race week. As part of a normal race, skiers would ski across Lake Hayward before entering downtown Hayward. Without Lake Hayward, there is no longer a possibility of finishing races in downtown Hayward. Given this decision, the International Bridge that normally spans Highway 63, will not be installed for Birkie week events this year. While snow is in the forecast for later this week, a downtown finish is no longer a feasible option for 2017 events.
As always, the safety of participants is first and foremost in mind for the entire ABSF staff and board, followed by their goal of creating the best possible participant experience for all. Both things are weighed and considered with each and every decision the ABSF makes.
Overall, the Birkie Trail base has remained quite stable after this past weekend’s weather. Trails north of OO have a 4” base and have fared well. Trails south of OO remain mostly intact. As of today, the possibility of finishing at Duffy Field in Hayward remains an option for Birkie Week races. That being said, the ABSF is very realistic with contingency planning and are focusing on the increasing likelihood of staging Birkie week events on the trail north of OO.
Decisions on the location of Thursday events will be made and announced on Tuesday, February 21. Before any decisions are made regarding Friday and Saturday events, the ABSF staff must wait to see what Mother Nature has in store for Cable and Hayward in the next 24 hours.