Executive Director Cherie Morgan said festivities will continue on race day with food, music and a festive atmosphere on Main Street.
Morgan notes that conditions remain good on the Birkie
and Kortelopet trails.Colder temperatures and light snow flurries in January and early February have meant skiers have been able to train on the Birkie trail.In fact, two races were held the weekend of February 8 and 9 with 900 racers skiing the pre-Birkie and 200 racers skiing the North End Classic.Racers reported good, fast conditions on the Birkie trail.
While Old Man Winter keeps race officials and skiers guessing as to race day conditions, one thing is certain: nearly 8,000 skiers and 20,000 spectators will descend on the communities of Hayward and Cable, Wis. for race week festivities from Thursday, Feb. 21 through Saturday, Feb. 23.
..."When all is said and done, we anticipate nearly 9,000 skiers from 19 countries and 45 United States participating in Birkie events and festivities," said Cherie Morgan, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.
Race day logistical support includes 11 food and medical stops, 10,000 oranges, 5,000 bananas, 4,000 cups of hot chocolate, 600 gallons of soup, 5,000 gallons of water, 98,000 cups, 1,500 gallons of sport drink, 16,000 cookies, 15,000 bread rolls, 165 portable toilets, 4,000 medals, 7,100 pins, and and 18,000 ski stickers.
The 2002 Johnson Bank American Birkebeiner, which is part of a Worldloppet series of 14 international ski marathons, part of the International Ski Federation
(FIS) Marathon Cup series and part of the American Ski Marathon series, is the largest cross country ski race in North America.It starts at the Cable Union Airport, continues on some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain of any location in the Worldloppet series, and finishes in downtown Hayward.
The 2002 Kortelopet, a 23K race, also starts at the Cable Union Airport, splits from the Birkie
at nine kilometers, continues on scenic and hilly Bayfield County and Telemark trails, and finishes as a race of its own at Telemark Resort in Cable.