The Latest on the Birkie Tour & Seeley Hills Classic
By Nancy Knutson, ABSF
Safety Protocols Provide Safe Race Experience Seeley Hills Classic & Birkie Tour –
Same Great Events, Completely New Experience
Hayward, WI (January 26, 2021) The Seeley Hills Classic and Birkie Tour events will be held on January 30 and January 31. Both events will be hosted on the American Birkebeiner Trail. Numerous and significant safety protocols and measures have been implemented for each event.
Seeley Hills Classic – January 30, 2021
Historically, the Seeley Hills Classic ski race has been the second-largest annual classic technique cross-country ski event on the American Birkebeiner Trail. This year’s event will be held on January 30 with both the race both starting and finishing at the OO Trailhead, Seeley, WI. The Seeley Hills Classic will offer skiers an amazing day of skiing on the Birkie Trail.
With reduced participation numbers, skiers will experience less congestion on course. Numerous safety protocols have been implemented to provide a safe racing experience for all, including: separate start times and race courses for 22K and 42K events; spaced wave starts (40 racers every 5 minutes); physically distanced start corral (6’ spacing); masks required in start, finish and common areas; self-serve hydration (skiers must be more self-sufficient with energy needs); hand sanitizer available at all touch point locations, limited volunteers on site, and many more. For increased safety, there will be no indoor spaces provided during the event and the post-race party has been eliminated.
The Seeley Hills Classic race has served as a major fundraiser for the Seeley Ski Club, allowing it to promote skiing in a number of ways. The club was responsible for lighting the Birkie Trail at the Highway 00 area, and developed 15K Sawyer County Ski Trail in the Seeley area, which it maintains and grooms. Today, with the help of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF), the Seeley Hills Classic legacy will continue to keep skiing strong in the Seeley area.
The first 500 skiers registered for the Seeley Hills Classic event will receive a SWIX classic ski hat. Skiers will choose their wave start time during registration. Registration is open and available online only (no in-person race registration) through January 29, 2021 at www.Birkie.com.
Birkie Tour – January 31, 2021
With the February 2021 American Birkebeiner (43K), Kortelopet (26K), and Prince Haakon (14K) races starting and finishing at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead (no downtown Hayward finish), the ABSF retooled the Birkie Tour to provide skiers with an opportunity to preview the 2021 racecourses. On January 31, skiers may start anytime between 8:00am and 11:00am, and may choose to ski 14K, 26K, or 43K. Like Birkie week races, the 2021 Birkie Tour will start and finish at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead, Cable, WI. The Birkie Tour event is the perfect training opportunity for skiers looking to try safety modified aid-stations in action; to experience skiing the classic trail from south to north; and to get a feel for the 2021 Birkie venue layout, parking, start and finish. The Birkie Tour is also ideal for new skiers looking for time on their skis in a supported environment.
Numerous safety modifications have been made to the 2021 Birkie Tour including: drive-up bib pick up; elimination of all indoor spaces; limited volunteers; touchless hydration only aid stations (skiers will receive GU and Clif options at bib pick-up to carry on-course); masks required in start, finish and all common areas; and in lieu of the annual post-race gathering, skiers will receive a takeaway lunch, provided by Northern Lakes Cooperative CENEX Corner Deli and a beverage from Earth Rider Brewery, the Official Beer of the Birkie.
The first 500 skiers registered for the Birkie Tour will receive an insulated Birkie Tour water bottle and a water belt. Online only registration is open for the Birkie Tour at www.Birkie.com.
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation remains committed to providing inspiring opportunities to promote a healthy active lifestyle and wellness events. The ABSF is taking every safety precaution and measure to ensure the safety of participants, volunteers, staff, and local communities. Questions should be directed to http://[email protected].
About the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation and Birkie® Events
Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February. Today, the Birkie brand has grown to encompass a year-round lifestyle that provides healthy, active events for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels. Birkie. Ski. Run. Bike. Live!