Organizers of the American Birkebeiner announced Monday morning that registration for the 2012 races was likely to close by the end of the day, roughly a month ahead of the previous year.
Several years of consistent snow and the build out of a trail for classic skiers boosted the participation in the Birkie to unprecedented levels. Based on the pace of entries, the 39th annual race in northwest Wisconsin will have yet another record field, 9,000 skiers registered in the 51-kilometer Birkebeiner and the 23-kilometer Kortelopet on Feb. 25.
Anticipating registration will reach that limit of 9,000 skiers today, Birkie organizers plan to close on-line registration, accept all mailed registrations post-marked Nov. 21, and provide an update on Tuesday.
A year ago, the Birkie hit its limit of 8,400 skiers on Dec. 18.