The 45th Annual American Birkebeiner is just 2 weeks away but work to make it happen is well underway.
“The grooming crew is out, they’re making sure that this wonderful new snow that we’ve received is packed down and ready for the skiers, they’re grooming the trails.” Says Director of Marketing Nancy Knutson
The volunteers are this event’s M-V-P and they have been since the start. Even the President of the Board of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Paul Eckerline still volunteers during the event.
“Actually for 35 years I’ve been doing baggage – everybody gets a bag to put their dry clothes in at the beginning of the race, we haul 13,000 of them to the end, sort them numerically and give them back to them when they finish”
This year, the race will take place on top of plenty of snow, and plenty of ice.
The annual event starts in Cable and ends in Hayward.
“The plows will plow all of the snow on the lake into a 20 foot long ribbon through the middle of the lake and then our piston bully groomers will actually be able to drive and groom the trail so that it’s ready for race day”
This year, the trail conditions look to be in excellent form.
“In the past there have been times where we have not been able to use the Lake and the race actually finished before it reached the lake.”
But, this year thanks to cold temperatures and recent snowfall, all that are involved are looking forward to this incredible event that brings in 30,000 visitors from all over the world.
“No problem! The weather last week… it was making ice faster than we could drill the holes to check it!”
The event begins February 21 and lasts until the 24th.