Participants of All Ages Ran, Trekked, and Walked a Total of
Five Distances and Events on This World Famous Ski Trail
Hayward, Wisconsin (Sept 23, 2013) – The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation hosted its 11th annual Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek on Saturday, Sept. 21. Participants of all ages took to the Birkie hills in Wisconsin's Northwoods for the Birkie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, 13.1 mile Nordic Trek, and 5K, plus a Kids 1K and Games. Notables included those who run ultras, including the Western States 100, an Olympian, and a 14-time gold medalist in ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games.
Again this year people traveled from all over Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois as well as California, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, New York, Tennessee, South Dakota, Norway, and more. One marathon runner from San Francisco did the event during his week-long trip from the West Coast to Chicago, “I always look for good trail running events when I travel for business,” he said while warming up for the race. Other newcomers were those who live right in the immediate area of Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin. Brian Mast, who took second in his age class in the 5K, said he has been running a couple times a week and doing some events here and there. “I really liked the Birkie Trail,” he said at the finish line. “It was a great course.”
Get Links to Results, Photos, and a Finish-Line Video of Each Participant
Presented by Carslon MD, the Birkie Trail Marathon ran north from the Hatchery Creek Park trailhead. The overall winner of the Birkie Trail Marathon was Daniel Dehlin of Marquette, MI, in 2:54:58. “In trail running,” said Dehlin, “you run more for yourself and not so much against the clock. The hills and the terrain are what you look for in an event like this. I’ve skied the Birkie, but this was my first time to run the trail. It was great.”
In second place was Ben Cogger of Duluth, MN, in 2:58:53. And, in third place was Jake Hegge of LaCrosse, WI, in 3:02:32.
In the women’s division of the Birkie Trail Marathon, Christi Nowak of St. Paul, MN, set a new women’s course record by more than six minutes, finishing in 3:25:06. Said Nowak, “Last year I ran but had just finished the Western States 100 two weeks earlier. This year I was ready for the Birkie and took a half hour off my time.”
Sarah Stiloski of Green Bay, WI, took second place in 3:25:41. Jan Guenther of Long Lake, MN, took third in 3:36:21, just five minutes off the previous course record of 3:31:32 that she had set and held since 2010. \
HALF MARATHON WINNERS
Presented by Salomon, the Birkie Half Marathon runs north on the Birkie Trail from the “OO” trailhead. The winner was Chris Pappathopoulos of Sun Prairie, WI, who took first place in 1:19:17 (Pappathopoulos also took first overall in the marathon at the 2011 event). In the women’s division, Claire Luby of Madison, WI, took first place in 1:38:42
MARATHON TEAM RELAY
Presented by FITS Sock, the 26.2 mile Marathon Relay is comprised of categories for 3- and 6-person Open, Women’s, and Mixed teams. Teams are handicapped based on participant ages and genders in this all-out contest of running, group organization, a few costumes, and team names that fire up their members. Just a few of the 62 team names this year included “Not Tonight Honey, I Just Ran the Birkie Marathon Relay!” “Lactic Acid Kool Aid Test,” “Birkelicious,” “Naughty Pines,” “Kickin’ Grass,” “Six-Pack Sisters,” and some familiar names from past events like the “Grababrewskis” and “Girls Just Want to Run.” Click Here for Results
5K RUN/WALK WINNERS
The 5K started and finished at Telemark, with a course that included a great mix of Birkie Classic, Kortelopet, and Telemark Trails. First place went again to Ryan Hansen of Hayward, WI, with a time of 00:23:20, shaving 30 seconds off his first-place finish last year. First place in the women’s division went to Lily Wieringa of Bessemer, MI, who finished in 00:27:44.
NORDIC TREK - WALK
Presented by Out There Nordic Sports Shop, this untimed 21K Nordic Trek also started at the Birkie "OO" Trailhead and finished at Telemark. Nearly 200 participants proved the growing popularity of this event in the U.S. In the spirit of the European Volksmarch, the Trek is a “people’s march,” a non-competitive fitness walk where participants use Nordic walking poles to provide more stability, speed, and workout benefits over long distances. Even though this is not a competitive event, we still want to recognize first overall finisher, Cindi McGrath, of Hayward, WI, in 2:28:01. In the men’s field, Kristofer Rebeck of Eden Prairie, MN, was the first to cross the finish line in 2:38:26.
OTHER NOTABLES ON THE TRAIL
In addition to a fantastic group of individuals and teams, all with unique stories that bring them to the Birkie Trail, there are also those accomplished athletes that quietly share the trail. Sometimes it’s nice to know who’s out there with you.
Among them on Saturday was Olympian Lindsey Dehlin (formerly Lindsey Weier, now married to Danny Dehlin, the overall marathon winner). In 2007 Lindsey Dehlin was the youngest American skier to ever go to the Olympics. On Saturday she took fifth place in the women’s marathon, filling out what turned out to be an experienced and competitive pack of runners. And, yes, they do run together at home.
The men’s marathon, too, saw a strong field of both experienced and first-time marathon runners alike. Among the first-timers was former Hayward local JR Salzman, who finished 9th in men and 11th overall. Salzman has won 14 medals at ESPN’s great outdoor games, an ESPY award for Best Outdoor Sports Athlete, and a total of 14 world titles in log rolling events. Early on he also taught a lot of local kids how to logroll and love being outside.
ADDING MORE KIDS and FINISH-LINE FUN
Welcome to a new batch of runners! New this year were our Free Kids 1K and Games, including an obstacle course. Also at the finish area, all participants gathered under the Big Tent or picnicked in the sun with plates piled with a our famous Birkie cookout, quickly becoming known as one of the best post-race feeds, again catered by the Brick House Cafe of Cable, WI.
“It was fantastic seeing so many smiling faces of all ages out enjoying the Birkie Trail and each other!” said Ben Popp, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation and its events.
LOOKING AHEAD TO SEPTEMBER 2014
The 2014 event will be held one week later, on September 27, 2014. There are two reasons for this. The new date coincides with Cable Fall Fest, bringing an extra element of festivity to the day and the weekend. And, it is one week after the City of Lakes Trail Loppet in Minneapolis. We’ve had a lot of good feedback from runners and walkers in and around the Twin Cities area that they would like to do both events. Now you can!
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS, Including Our Event Sponsors: FITS Sock, Out There Nordic Sports Shop, Salomon,Carlson MD of Chippewa Valley Orthopedics, GU Energy, Hammer Nutrition, Marshfield Clinic – Hayward Center, Anglers Bar & Grill, Backroads Coffee & Tea, Hayward Bakery & Cheese, New Moon Ski & Bike, Sawmill Saloon & Mooselips Café, Tremblay’s Sweet Shop, Vortanz Lumber, Woodland Developments & Realty.