FIS announced Wednesday that the American Birkebeiner will return to its Marathon Cup circuit for 2009-2010. According to Birkebeiner Director of Race Operations Shellie Milford, the inclusion of the race in the circuit will bring additional elite skiers from Europe to compete for more prize money.
Milford said that the decision to participate in the circuit is made by the Birkebeiner, rather than FIS.
“It’s kind of a year-by-year decision,” she said. “We consider it every year—we decided that we would like to participate partly because of the fact that we do have an interest in bringing elite level European skiers over, and we certainly support the whole concept of the World Marathon Cup.”
Milford added that she did not expect to see additional participation from European citizen racers.
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Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.