Members of the University Nordic Ski Club packed their vans Friday and pointed their skis east. On Saturday they joined more than 9,000 skiers from 19 countries at the 33rd annual American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race. Several Minnesota colleges and universities participated in the race, including St. Olaf and St. Cloud State.
The Nordic ski festival, better known as the “Birkie,” culminates in a 51K ski marathon.
Beginning in Cable, Wis., the course winds over wooded hills before finishing in downtown Hayward, Wis. Peppered throughout the more than 4,000 racers were 25 members of the University Nordic Ski Club – skills levels ranging from elite to novice.
The 51K is the longest race of the year for members of the ski club, and one of their favorites. The Birkie brings together Nordic ski enthusiast from around the world to share laughs, eat pasta and, of course, ski.
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