What You Need to Know About the 2021 Birkie

The renowned ski race is on for 2021, but with a few changes to get caught up on.

What You Need to Know About the 2021 Birkie

Photo from American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation Facebook

In 1973, the story of the American Birkebeiner began with 35 skiers taking off in Hayward, Wisconsin and completing a 45-kilometer race. 47 years later, the 2020 Birkie hosted 13,500 skiers and close to 30,000 spectators.

The 2021 Birkie will bring about even more change. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainty to this year’s events across the nation and the Birkie was no exception. After long deliberation, it was decided the race must go on, but with a few changes in the structure to ensure the safety of racers and supporters.

Skiers will have the option this year of skiing in-person or participating virtually. Instead of one race day for all skiers, this year participants will have the choice of skiing any day from Wednesday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 28, in an effort to spread out and reduce large groups gatherings. Emails containing race day selection instructions are scheduled to release Friday, Nov. 13 to racers in the order in which they registered.

A live online Q&A meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16 with Ben Popp, executive director and Kristy Maki, event director at 7pm CT for those looking for more information. An email with that link will be sent to registered participants the morning of the meeting. 

Other large changes for this year are that no spectators will be allowed in the start or finish areas, and 2021 race times will not be used to decide 2022 wave placements due to the enacted changes. Family and friends will still be able to track the progress and cheer on their favorite racers using the Birkie application. www.birkie.com



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