HAYWARD, Wisc. — Race day conditions for Saturday’s 32nd Subaru American Birkebeiner and Johnson Bank Kortelopet will be â€œperfectâ€ says Bill Pierce, president of the Board of Directors for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF).
â€œRacers can expect excellent conditions from the race start at Telemark Resort in Cable to the finish line on Main Street in Hayward,â€ he said. â€œGroomers have been out on the course every day, and the trail is in great shape all the way to Main Street.â€
Three inches of new snow blanketed the Birkie trail yesterday as skiers continued to race to registration. As of Monday, Feb. 21, more than 6,000 skiers have registered for the Birkie and Kortelopet, and organizers expect numbers to top 6,500.
Entries will be accepted until 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 25 at Telemark Resort. Registration fees are $120.
Registrations are also streaming in for the Salomon Elite Sprints, Hayward Chamber of Commerce Citizen Sprints, Century Tel Junior Birkie, Cheqtel Communications 10K, Prince Haakon 12K, and the Sons of Norway/Swiss Miss Barnebirkie. Numbers are expected to reach 2,500 participants for these events.
The 9,000 participants registered for Birkie 2005 events and races will be catered to by 2,000 volunteers and cheered on by more than 15,000 spectators.
On Wednesday afternoon organizers will lay a blanket of pristine white snow on Main Street in Hayward, and groomers will work their magic preparing the street for Thursday’s festivities. Pierce said it takes more than 150 truckloads of snow to cover the street.
â€œIt’s quite an event to see,â€ said Shirley Riedmann, executive director of the ABSF. â€œThey start around 2 p.m. and continue til 10 p.m. when it’s perfectly groomed for Birkie events and festivities.â€
Pierce said the Birkie course is already groomed to the edge of Main Street. Come Friday three groomers will put the finishing touches on the full race course from start to finish.
â€œWe close the trail at noon on Friday and work til 10 p.m. or all night if necessary,â€ he said.
Then all that’s left is for wave after wave of lycra-clad skiers to shoot out of the starting gates beginning at 8:20 a.m. Saturday morning. The top contenders will finish on Main Street in Hayward between 10:20 to 10:40 a.m., and the streams of citizen skiers will continue crossing the finish line til late in the day.
A web site (open to the public and media) with race day results will be set up beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Simply log on to http://www.finishlinesports.com/raceresults/2005birkie
Searchable results will be updated about every 15 minutes and PDF files will be updated about every 30 minutes.
For more information or to register for the 2005 Subaru American Birkebeiner, Johnson Bank Kortelopet, Prince Haakon 12K, Salomon Elite Sprints, Hayward Chamber of Commerce Citizen Sprints, Century Tel Junior Birkie, Cheqtel Communications 10K, or the Sons of Norway/Swiss Miss Barnebirkie, call 715-634-5025, e-mail email@example.com, or log on to www.birkie.com.
Birkie 2005 is sponsored by Subaru, Johnson Bank, Polartec, Murphy McGinnis Media and other businesses throughout the region and country.