Valley Spur, March 1, 2024 (Credit: John Gierke)
Skiing along Bearskin Lake, Central Gunflint Trail System, March 1, 2024 (Credit: Diane Pattridge)

NewWorld Cup Lahti: Classic Distance

March 2, 2024
The festivities in Finland continued on Saturday as athletes queued up for a grinding individual-start classic race covering 20K. Battling back to her first win in nearly five years, Krista Parmakowski held off Germany's Victoria Carl by less than two seconds in the women's race to the celebration of the home crowd, while her teammate Kerttu Niskanen emphasized the importance of home field advantage with her third place finish. It looked as though Finland would claim the men's title as well through Iivo Niskanen who lead much of the earlier portions of the men's race, but game recognized game at the finish line when Norway's Johannes Klaebo pulled in ahead of Niskanen with 24 seconds to spare. Niskanen's time would still be good enough to secure second however as over a half a minute would separate him and the third fastest finisher, Martin Loewstroem Nyenget of Norway. A top-10 result by Rosie Brennan in 9th was the standout for US skiers as they weathered the tough conditions in Lahti. Sunday will bring a back another bout of sprinting as an individual freestyle competition takes center stage.

NewSpring/Summer Training Programs

March 1, 2024
It's already time to start thinking about your spring and summer training activities!   Sign ups for programs are open now and many are filling fast...
Loppet Spring/Summer Programming - Something for everyone, from kids mountain bike camps to adult strength sessions.
Endurance United Spring Juniors - Spring junior sessions start on April 16th and registration is open now.
Minneapolis Ski Club Spring Sessions - Registration is open now for junior spring training sessions.

NewMCSA: Birkie Recap

March 1, 2024
Luke Dykowski reports: The 2024 Midwest Collegiate Cup concludes its season on the American Birkebeiner podium, with the St. Olaf Women maintaining their season-long lead to clinch their first ever Midwest Collegiate Cup title, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth narrowly holding off UW Madison and St. Olaf to secure their third consecutive Cup victory.

NewNorthStar Paddle League

March 1, 2024
Starting this summer, the Loppet Foundation, Twin Cities Paddlesports and Endurance United are joining together to create the NorthStar Paddle League (NPL). The NPL seeks to promote competitive youth paddlesports and will host three events in the summer of 2024 to introduce racing, build community, and celebrate the skills learned in individual programs.

NewWorld Cup Lahti: Team Sprints

March 1, 2024
Back in Finland where the season began, the World Cup returned to action on Friday for the final leg of the circuit. Sweden put up a solidifying statement in the women's race, a classic team sprint, skiing away with the victory by nearly 30 seconds over the first teams from Finland and Germany. Norway would do the same in the men's race, albeit by a smaller margin of victory, besting the second team from Norway by roughly four seconds. Just outstretching France I for third was the Finland I team, a cause for celebration for the Lahti crowd with athletes representing the host nation on both the men's and women's podiums. A disappointing day for the US, neither of the two competing men's teams would qualify for the final, while the lone women's team did make the final, but finished well out of contention in 15th. Tomorrow the focus shifts back to individual performances for a pair of interval-start 20K classic races.

Related:

Video: Team Sprints Highlights
Results: Team Sprints

NewWeekend Skiing and Trail Reports

February 29, 2024
It will be a warm one, but there is still skiing opportunities available! New reports from Battle Creek West2, Hyland Lake2, Central Gunflint, Spirit Mtn, Elm Creek, Maplelag2, Valley Spur2 and recent reports from Birkie, Hyland Lake7, Battle Creek West4, Theodore Wirth North7, Valley Spur, Spirit Mtn, Elm Creek2, Wolverine, Blue Mound SP, Tilson Creek, Maplelag, Lindenwood, Nels P. Evjue School Forest, Rainbow, Miners Memorial Heritage.

World Cup Racing: Lahti Schedule

February 28, 2024
Heading into the home stretch, the fifth and final Period of the World Cup kicks off on Friday with a return to Finland for three days of racing in Lahti. Getting the ball rolling is the first and only team sprint of the season, a classic event, which will have athletes compete in a qualifier at 6:45 AM CST leading into the heats at 8:45 AM CST. Athletes' attention then turns to an interval-start 20K classic event on Saturday where the women will race first at 2:00 AM CST, followed by the men at 5:00 AM CST. Closing it all out, Sunday will feature a return to sprinting action as athletes compete individually in the freestyle technique, with qualifiers begining at 2:15 AM CST and the heats shortly after at 4:45 AM CST.

Weekend Racing

February 28, 2024
Not much left on the calendar...
Mar 2-3 Wisconsin State Distance Meet/JNQ - Birkie trailhead will get another weekend out of their snowmaking trails to host the high school championships and Great Lakes JNQ.

Related:

Video: Birkie Webcams
Waxing Recommendations

Wisconsin State High School Distance Championship Predictions

February 28, 2024
Ken Schoville is back with his take on the Wisconsin high school Nordic skiing Distance Championship contenders! Rescheduled from mid-February, the big event is this Saturday and Sunday at the Birkie Trailhead in Cable.

Great Bear Chase Cancelled

February 28, 2024
by Bruce Adelsman
Organizers have cancelled the Great Bear Chase due to forecast warm weather and low snow conditions. Registrations can be transferred to the 2025 event.

Racing Outlook

February 27, 2024
The only surviving event for the upcoming weekend appears to the Wisconsin State Meet and Great Lakes JNQ, being held at the Birkie Trailhead. And the MYSL team sprints will hold their final event of the season at Wirth on Wednesday evening!

Birkie Week Recap and Mt. Telemark Village Fundraising

February 26, 2024
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation celebrates the successful Birkie Week events with a recap video, plus makes their fundraising push to achieve a matching grant of $500,000 for Mt. Telemark Village by the end of February (Thursday!).

Related:

Video from American Birkebeiner: Birkie Week Recap

American Birkebeiner Classic Coverage

February 25, 2024
Capping an improbable week of racing in one of the worst winters on record, the American Birkebeiner held their classic technique events Sunday on the now famous 10K machine-made snow loop in Cable. A group of four elite men broke away early and sprinted it out for the three podium spots with Michigan native Reid Goble taking the victory, German Christian Winker second and David Norris third. On the women's side, Hannah Rudd, a Minnesota native, and Caitlin Patterson made it a two-person race for the title, taking it down to another sprint finish with Rudd pulling ahead for a win. A number of the skiers completed an unofficial Birkie skiathlon, racing the 50K freestyle race the day before, including Rudd, Patterson (Scott and Caitlin), and Norris. Results linked in, photos posted along with a recap video.

American Birkebeiner Freestyle Coverage

February 24, 2024
The snow coverage may have been muted but the crowds were not for the main event of the 50th American Birkebeiner on Saturday. Ever the crowd pleaser, Jessie Diggins put on a show, racing neck and neck with France's Flora Dolci after breaking away early. However, wearing her custom sparkling bib it was Diggins day to shine as she collected her first Birkie win, beating Dolci to the line by nearly 30 seconds and thrilling the fans at the finish. Besting the chase group to secure the final spot on the podium was last year's champion, Alayna Sonnesyn. After spending much of the race in the lead group of about a dozen men, US skiing superstar Gus Schumacher left it late to deliver yet another one for the books, collecting a first Birkie win of his own. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, the second, third, and fourth skiers in the men's race came crashing in seconds later, with Sam Hendry decisively taking second, and David Norris just edging out Scott Patterson for third. Results linked in, photos and video recap posted!

Kortelopet Freestyle Coverage

February 23, 2024
After a fresh grooming by the Birkie crew, Kortelopet skiers raced the machine-made snow course in the afternoon in freestyle technique for the 20K event. The podium had a distinctive Minnesota vibe: Recently crowned Minnesota high school champion Logan Drevlow, Golden Valley, sailed away for the boys victory with Jace Haerter, Edina, second and Eric Anderson, Frontenac, third. On the girls side, Wayzata's Audrey Parham collected the title with Sydney Drevlow second, and Cloquet native Anja Maijala third. Results linked in, photos and video recaps now posted.

Kortelopet Classic Coverage

February 23, 2024
Kortelopet classic racing kicked off Friday morning, with the U20/Elite fields starting things off. The field did two laps of a fast 10K machine-made snow course as temperatures were much cooler, running in the mid 20s. Charlie Vater, Iola, was the first to cross the line in taking the mens U20/Elite race, followed by Neel Dums, Hayward, and Henry Brandt, St. Paul. Teammates Lydia Kraker and Greta Hendrickson, Duluth, came in 1-2 for the womens U20/Elite field with St. Paul native Alex Pundsack third. Results linked in, photosets along with recap video posted.

Junior Birkie Coverage

February 22, 2024
Over 400 kids turned out Thursday afternoon for the Junior Birkie races on the snowmaking trails at the Birkie trailhead. Age divisions ranging from under 8 years old to under 14 competed in 1.5K and 3K distances, including some hilly terrain. Results posted along with a selection of photos and a video highlight from the races.

New Moon: Birkie Week Sale

February 20, 2024
New Moon is celebrating Birkie Week with end-of-season storewide sales on clothing and accessories, with large discounts on previous year's model skis, boots and poles (in stock only). See the full breakdown on discounts and stop by the shop this week!

Lumi Experiences: 2025 World Cup Trips

February 20, 2024
After an thrilling weekend of World Cup racing in Minneapolis, Lumi Experiences Cross Country Ski Vacations is excited to announce three opportunities to catch World Cup racing in Europe next winter: Tour de Ski in Italy, Holmenkollen in Norway and the 2025 Trondheim Nordic World Championships. Cheer on your favorite World Cup athletes and enjoy all the extras of a Lumi trip: grandstand tickets, local trip leaders, 4-star hotel accommodation, all ground transportation, plus behind-the-scenes access and insights.

Racing Outlook

February 19, 2024
Birkie Week is here and events are moving forward. The Great Bear Chase is still on as well, but most of the remaining calendar has been decimated.

Birkie Course Preview

February 19, 2024
Birkie has posted a full course preview, with map and interactive point-of-view video.

Related:

50th Anniversary Birkie Week Events
Waxing Recommendations

Loppet Cup Playday Coverage

February 19, 2024
On Monday, the Loppet Cup wrapped up the big week with bunch of activities, indoor and outdoor, celebrating Winter including a chance to ski the World Cup courses, enjoy some winter activities, check out vendors and get autographs from some of the athletes.

Related:

Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

World Cup Minneapolis: Freestyle Distance; Sensational Schumacher Takes the Title, Diggins in Third

February 18, 2024
Not since the days of Bill Koch, over four decades ago, has an American man stood atop the podium in a World Cup distance race, but history was made on Sunday as Gus Schumacher became only the third to win a World Cup competition. Leading in a stacked field in the men's interval-start race, Schumacher posted the fastest time on the 10K freestyle course by just a handful of seconds, taking the victory over the current overall World Cup leader, Harald Oestberg Amundsen of Norway, and his teammate, Paal Golberg. The women's race was just as much of a thriller, with Jessie Diggins pushing her body to the limit and a third place finish on the back of a chorus of cheering from the home crowd at Theodore Wirth Park. Seemingly untouchable in Minneapolis, Sweden's Jonna Sundling claimed another victory with over 15 seconds to spare, while her teammate, Frida Karlsson, held down second place on the podium. A wrap for Period IV of the World Cup, athletes will next head back overseas for the final leg of the circuit which kicks off in Lahti, Finland.

World Cup Minneapolis: Freestyle Sprints

February 17, 2024
There was no shortage of excitement on Saturday for the first of two World Cup races being held just outside of downtown Minneapolis at Theodore Wirth Park. With thousands of spectators lining the trails, skiers were elevated to stardom as they competed for one of the coveted top-30 spots in the morning's freestyle sprints qualifier. Four men and four women would make that mark for the US team, with the most celebrated of the bunch being the hometown hero Jessie Diggins who twice drew a roar from the crowd on her way to the final in the heats. Despite Diggins' determination it was a Swede, Jonna Sundling, that would take all the glory, gliding away with the victory in dominant fashion after prevailing over teammate Linn Svahn and her Norwegian competitor Kristen Stavaas Skistad, with Diggins in tow for fourth. Equally as dominant was the 'king' of Norway, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who put on a show for the fans, leading in a resurgent Federico Pellegrino of Italy and another Norwegian, Haavard Solaas Taugboel, on his way to a decisive victory. While none of the American men would break out of the quarterfinals, it wasn't for lack of trying with Gus Schumacher coming the closest in 17th. Tomorrow the excitement continues with athletes taking part in an interval-start 10K freestyle event.

Biathlon: US Makes History Once Again In World Championships Men’s Relay

February 17, 2024
The U.S. men’s relay team makes it two historic finishes for Team USA at the 2024 IBU World Championships in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. The team of Vincent Bonacci, Sean Doherty, Campbell Wright and Minnesotan Jake Brown raced to fifth place, marking an historic World Championships finish in the discipline and the best U.S. relay finish since 2016.