by Charlie Dee and Andy Keller Charlie Dee: Ah, shorter days, cooler nights, leaves coloring up and dropping. Snow couldn’t
The ABSF says it is $75,000 shy of the $650,000 needed “to fund a permanent start area and year-round trailhead.” Given the ongoing financial straits of the Telemark Lodge in Cable, no one should need convincing that the race needs to secure its own future.
“Thirty-seven years of doing this and this’ll be the first time I miss my start,” I told the skier sitting next to me on the bus transporting us to the start of the American Birkebeiner.
A short documentary film about the Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern Minnesota each winter will be available to view online starting April 1. The 30-minute movie by Adventure Minnesota Films is the first of four in a series which will also cover whitewater kayakers, rock climbers and adventure racers in Minnesota.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So I called the American Birkebeiner office to switch my registration from the full 54K classic Birkie to the 23K Kortelopet set for February 21. Sigh.
The snowmobile-riding groomers of the Loppet Trail in northern lower Michigan bogged down in the thigh-deep powder. With 120 skiers expected Sunday for the 31st annual Outfitter Loppet, race director Josh Baker had 25K of powdery snow trail that needed packing.