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American Birkebeiner Team Competition Expanded for 2009

Tue, Jan  27, 2009 - By Cherie Morgan

HAYWARD, Wis. –There’s nothing like the energy of a team to bring out the best in a group of athletes. The team spirit and camaraderie motivates men and women of all ages and fitness levels. Now there’s an outlet for all that energy, training and motivation. The Team Competition is intended to be a fun addition to the American Birkebeiner.

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) and Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota, will again present the Team Competition.

Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation explains that the Team Competition has been expanded for 2009.

“In addition to the Juniors and College divisions we have added an Open category for organization, businesses and club teams of men and women, regardless of age,” said Zuelsdorff. “We hope that the new division will increase participation among all athletes.”

The Junior division is for current High School and Middle School students. The College division is for current college students and staff members from an institution of higher learning. These skiers are not required to be on an existing team, from the same school or department.

The new Open division is for skiers from the same business or organization including clubs. These teams can include junior and college skiers. There can be more than one team from a high school, middle school, college or university, or business, organization or club.

“Each team must have at least three members, but there is no limit to the number of members on a team,” explains Zuelsdorff. “All team members must be registered for the same race and each individual must be registered prior to the submission of the Team Registration Form. There is no additional fee for participating in the team competition.”

The team’s finish position will be based on the total combined time of the three fastest finishers, including at least one member from each gender and at least one skate skier and one classic skier. The top three team “scorers” for the top two teams in both the Birkie and the Kortelopet in all three Divisions will receive awards.

If you are interested in putting a team together then check out the Team Competition section at You need to hurry and pick a team captain and complete a Team Registration form found on the web page by Monday, February 9, 2009.

More than 7,000 skiers are expected to register for the 36th anniversary American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet. Another 2,500 are expected for shorter races and events. To learn more about North America’s largest and most prestigious cross country ski race, log on to, email or call 715/634-5025.

Birkie 2009 is sponsored by Subaru, Becker Law Office SC, Premier Physical Medicine and Wellness Clinic, Johnson Bank, Sawyer County Record and other businesses throughout the region and country.