The number of skier registrations coming in this week for the Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon races at the 2013 American Birkebeiner has pushed total registrations for the three events passed the 3,600 mark. The total cap for these events on February 23, 2013 is 10,000 participants, so we have also passed the 30 percent mark for this cap as well.
Another interesting statistic is the number of Birkie Birchlegging skiers registered so far and the number of brand new skiers.
Birchlegging skiers are those who have skied 20 Birkie races, Skate or Classic, and those who are registered for their 20th Birke this year. There were a total of 812 Birchlegging skiers at Birkie 2012. The total right now for Birchlegging registrations is already at 560. Then means that right now this group accounts for 15 percent of Birkie registrations. Go 20-year skiers!
On the other side of the coin, each year there are anywhere from 1,000 to 1,900 skiers registered who are brand new to the Birkie, Kortelopet, or Prince Haakon. These newcomer numbers have been the case even for years with lower participant caps. It's always exciting to hear from skiers who decide to be part of the event and round up the courage to head for the starting line and into the unknown on a frosty February morning.
Birkie 2013 will be the 40th annual American Birkebeiner event, so it is a momentous time in the history of the event and for those who are taking on their own milestone. Whether you're considering your first Birkie event, skiing your 20th Birkie, skiing with or for a family member or close friend, this year's American Birkebeiner will be full of the stories, challenges, memories that make "Birkie Fever" such an important part of so many people's lives. The Birkie hopes it will be part of yours.