Highlights

Birkie's Ben Popp Elected as Worldloppet President

June 16, 2024
At the recent General Meeting for the Worldloppet, held this year in Sapporo, Japan, the American Birkebeiner's Executive Director Ben Popp was elected as the new Worldloppet International Skifederation President. The Birkie was the place of birth of the Worldloppet concept back in 1978.

Midwest MTB Report

May 31, 2024
May has come and gone, and despite a lot of rain throughout the Midwest the mountain bike scene has been going strong. June brings with it warmer temps and even longer days, so to give us some inspiration of what to do with those extra minutes Jay Richards has for us another installment of his Midwest MTB report.

Midwest MTB Report

May 23, 2024
Bouncing back after a tough break with a wrist injury a month back, Jay Richards returns this week with a new Midwest MTB Report. Covering the start of the series season in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, this week's report includes highlights from race #1 in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series and race #2 in the Wisconsin Off-Road Series, plus news and notes related to the trails at Telemark, racing at Split Rock, and World Cup at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.

World Cup Returns to the US - Lake Placid 2026

May 16, 2024
At the US and Snowboard Spring Congress earlier this week it was unveiled that Lake Placid will host the World Cup Finals in March 2026. Nordic Insights reports on the tentative agreement.

Twin Cities Natives Bolster Team Birkie Marathon Squad

May 6, 2024
Team Birkie's Marathon Team gets a big boost with the addition of three former standout Loppet Nordic Racing junior skiers - Abigail Drach, Nicole Eliasson (Schneider), and Vivian Johnson (Hett). The Twin Cities natives bring impressive credentials from junior/collegiate national teams and NCAA All-American honors and will be led by Team Birkie High Performance Manager, Chad Salmela. Note: Team Birkie still has registration open for the College Summer Program.

Ariens Nordic Center to Host Inaugural Biathlon Masters Nationals in 2025

May 6, 2024
The Ariens Nordic Center in Wisconsin will host the inaugural U.S. Biathlon Masters Nationals and North American Masters Championships on Feb 14-16, 2025. In collaboration with Biathlon Canada, this first-ever event is expected to bring one of the largest gatherings of masters biathletes from across North America for sprint, mass start, and individual competitions across five age groups.

Snake River Canoe Race Results

May 4, 2024
With an early ice out this year, water sports have been off to a quick start which was no more evident than at this year's Snake River Canoe Race. Well over 200 participants took part in the 43rd running of the event, its largest turnout post-Covid. The top times in the Pro Boat division went to the teams of Dana Henry/David Nelson (male), Patricia Bohaty/Jessica Kozarek (female), and Kira Stolen/Jeremiah Menk (mixed); while the fastest finishers in the Open Racing division were the teams of Blake Ferree/Jake Hway (male), Kari Henry/Krista Matison (female), and Chris Broderson/Emily Broderson (mixed). A full breakdown of the results, including additional division winners, is linked in below.

Related:

Results: Snake River Canoe Race

Birkie Registration Now Open

May 1, 2024
Registration for the Slumberland American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon, Birkie Tour, and Open Track events opened on May 1st. Secure your wave placement and get in on early pricing by registering now!

Team Birkie Announces New Coaching Staff, Structure

April 25, 2024
Former Team Birkie skier, Julie Ensrud, has been named Head Coach of Team Birkie. Ensrud will oversee all Team Birkie’s training, racing, service, and travel. Erin Moening named assistant Head coach, Chad Salema high-performance coach, with Jake Stiele as development coach.

Biathlon: National Team Nominations Announced

April 23, 2024
Nominations for the 2024-2025 Senior National Team and National Development Group were announced by the US Biathlon Association on Tuesday with a total of eight Midwest athletes making the cut. Of those eight, Deedra Irwin, Jake Brown, Margie Freed, and Vasek Cervenka were nominated to the Nation Team, while Cheresa Bouley, Luke Brown, Anna French, and Michaela Keller-Miller were named to the Development Group.

Team Birkie: Summer Training Programs Now Available

April 11, 2024
Join Team Birkie this summer and train with some of the Midwest's best through the team's upcoming summer training program. Running from June 1st to August 20th, the program is tailored toward collegiate level athletes who are looking to train in a competitive environment and reach new peaks. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up by May 1st to secure a spot.

Midwest MTB Report

April 10, 2024
For the second Midwest MTB Report of the season Jay Richards traveled south to Fayetteville, AR for the second race of the US XC Open series. This week's report opens with his firsthand recap from one of the races, along with a detour to check out some trails, old and new, in the surrounding Bentonville area. Closing it out is a look ahead to some midweek racing series that should be starting soon, and handful of other related items.

Birkie Membership Drive and Early Registration Underway

April 8, 2024
Support the American Birkebeiner and start your 2025 Birkie training by taking out a American Birkebeiner membership! As an added bonus, your membership gives you early access to race registration and a custom bib as well.

Team Birkie: Community Pride Fuels Our Success

April 5, 2024
Since it's first iteration some thirty years ago, Team Birkie has been an organization driven and supported by the community. In welcoming their newest community supporters, Women and Men Who Cross Country Ski…and Drink Coffee (WAMXC), Team Birkie invites other community groups and clubs to engage with the team and help take it to new heights.

Midwest MTB Report

April 3, 2024
Despite a last minute snowstorm socking in the Midwest, it's safe to say spring has now spring as we officially enter the third week of the season. Warmer weather ahead means it won't be long before it's time to turn in the trainer and hit the trails, so to get us ready we're catching up with Jay Richards who has the latest roundup of mountain bike related news and events in his first Midwest MTB Report of the year.

NNF: APU Awarded the 2023-24 NNF Cup

March 31, 2024
Following SuperTour Finals in Duluth, MN, the National Nordic Foundation has awarded this season’s NNF Cup to Alaska Pacific University (APU). Bridger Ski Foundation Pro Team and University of Utah Ski Team took second and third places.

US Nationals/SuperTour Freestyle Marathon Results

March 26, 2024
The US Nationals/SuperTour Spring Series wrapped up on Tuesday with a tough 40K freestyle event. Heavy snow over the previous two days, combined with more snow falling and strong winds, made for a brutal climax to the series. In the men's race, Minneapolis native Jake Brown and Johnny Steel Hagenbuch separated themselves from the lead pack in the final kilometers with Hagenbuch taking the victory just ahead of Brown. Canada's Antoine Cyr finished third, with Scott Patterson collecting the third place American podium. Racing with additional snowfall, the women's race was a war of attrition as Novie McCabe pounded out a brutal pace, eventually soloing in for the victory, Sydney Palmer-Leger taking second and Mariah Bredal third. Alayna Sonnesyn in fourth, was the only other skier to finish the 40K in under two hours.

World Cup Falun: Freestyle Distance; Diggins Finishes First, Wins Second Overall Crystal Globe

March 17, 2024
Sunday marked the end of another World Cup season with a mass-start 20K freestyle race wrapping up the final competitions in Falun, Sweden. After spending over 100 days as the leader in the overall standings, it was as if a weight had been lifted off the shoulders of Jessie Diggins as she lined up for the women's race with a point lead that could only be erased through a seemingly catastrophic event. That event was never given a chance of coming to fruition however as Diggins took the reigns from the start, confidently controlling her destiny and ultimately winning the race, and consequently the overall title. Having earned the title twice now, Diggins is the only American to have ever won the overall crystal globe multiple times. Finishing the season on a high note, two Norwegians also made the day's podium in the women's race, Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvaa; while two Swede's, Linn Svahn and Frida Karlsson, joined Diggins on the overall podium; and a German, Victoria Carl, and another Swede, Ebba Anderson, joined Diggins on the distance podium. The men's race would also require a catastrophic event to unseat their leader in the overall standings, Harald Oestberg Amundsen of Norway, but that didn't stop his teammate, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, from trying. Earning the maximum points on the day in his 7th individual win in a row, Klaebo would fall just short of the mark as he led two other Norwegians to the podium in the day's race, a newcomer, Tefre Gjoeran, and a familiar face, Martin Loewstroem Nyenget. As a result, Amundsen would hold off Klaebo to claim the overall crystal globe with another Norwegian, Erik Valnes, rounding out the overall podium in third. The podium would shake out the same for the distance standings as well save for Paal Golberg standing in for Valnes in third. Last but not least, a number of other American athletes also ended the season on a high note on Sunday with five finishing within the top-20 including Rosie Brennan in 10th, Novie McCabe in 11th, Gus Schumacher in 12th, Scott Patterson in 15th, and Sophia Laukli in 17th.

World Cup Falun: Classic Distance

March 16, 2024
Athletes were subjected to a sleeting snowstorm on Saturday for the second to last day of the World Cup season. Taking to the trails in Falun, Sweden to race 10K in an interval-start format, the classic race was a crucial chance to earn points towards the still-to-be-resolved distance and overall standings. One athlete in particular looking to hold off her competition was the American Jessie Diggins who held a slim lead in both. Her efforts would see her go above and beyond to not only finish 5th on the day, but also significantly increase her lead in both the distance and overall standings, enough so that she could claim the distance crystal globe a day early. A little further up in the day's results were two athletes from Finland, Kerttu Niskanen and Johanna Matintalo, who finished first and second in the women's race, followed by Jonna Sundling of Sweden who finished third. Also looking to solidify his place in the standings was Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo who, despite sitting out a sizeable chunk of the season, was still within striking distance of the overall crystal globe while leading the distance standings. In a near repeat of the race a week prior, it looked as though Finland's Iivo Niskanen would hold the top time for much of the men's race, but Klaebo once again played the spoiler, beating Niskanen's time by over 20 seconds and clinching the distance crystal globe, with Martin Loewstroem Nyenget, also of Norway, rounding out the podium in third. Not mathematically out of the running yet, Klaebo will get one last shot to try to overtake his teammate, Harald Oestberg Amundsen, for the overall crystal globe tomorrow, while Jessie Diggins will be seeking to cement on to her lead in the final feature in Falun, a mass-start 20k freestyle race.

World Cup Falun: Classic Sprints

March 15, 2024
The final weekend of the World Cup kicked off on Friday with the final sprint competition of the season—a classic sprint. Taking place in Falun, Sweden, the stage was set for an epic showdown in the women's final where it was a rivalry rematch between three Swedes, Jonna Sundling, Linn Svahn, and Emma Ribom, and a Norwegian, Kristen Stavaas Skistad. Despite their desire to win at home, the Swedes were no match for Skistad however as the Norwegian skied away with the win. Of the Swedes, Svahn would finish second, finding solace in having secured the sprint crystal globe earlier in the week, and her teammate, Sundling, would finish third in both the day's sprint and the sprint standings, with Skistad finishing second in the latter as well. A second place finish by Lauri Vuorinen of Finland, his first podium in 110 starts, was the biggest surprise in the men's final which was won handily by none other than Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway, as his teammate, Harald Oestberg Amundsen, backed him up in third. Klaebo, who had also already secured the sprint crystal globe earlier in the week, would finish first in the sprint standings, with another of his countrymen, Erik Valnes, in second, and Lucas Chanavat of France in third. Racing through challenging conditions, only one of four qualifying Americans would advance out of the quarterfinals, JC Schoonmaker, who's progress was halted in the semifinals, finishing 9th on the day. Looking ahead, two days of distance racing are all the remains now with an interval-start 10K classic race up next on Saturday.

World Cup Racing: Falun Schedule

March 13, 2024
The final weekend of the World Cup is nearly here and there's much still at stake as the circuit lands in Falun, Sweden. Although the winners of the sprint crystal globes have already been decided, Friday's classic sprints will establish who finishes second and third in the sprint standings, with that competition taking place at 6:15 AM CDT and 8:45 AM CDT for the qualifying and elimination rounds respectively. Saturday and Sunday's competitions will then decided who takes home the distance and overall crystal globes, with an interval-start 10K classic race taking place on Saturday, and a mass-start 20K freestyle race on Sunday. The schedule for those events has the women's field starting first at 5:00 AM CDT on both days, while the men will be racing a few hours later at 8:00 AM CDT and 8:15 AM CDT between Saturday and Sunday.

World Cup Drammen: Classic Sprints; Brennan Back on Podium

March 12, 2024
Like watching NASCAR in a city square and with the crowds to back it up, the streets of Drammen, Norway were host to classic sprints on Tuesday for the penultimate destination of the World Cup. Making a trend of last weekend's all-Norway display in the men's classic marathon, today's competition was again an all-Norway affair with the podium in the men's sprint final again being swept by the host nation. After the dust had settled on another commanding performance, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo stood atop the three tiered steps for the 81st time in his career, while his teammates Haavard Solaas Taugboel and Even Northug stood a step down to either side of him. Norway's success stretched into the women's sprint final as well where Kristen Stavaas Skistad showed her strength in the closing stretches of the race, triumphantly returning to the top of the podium in front of the home crowd. Also making a triumphant return to the podium was an American, Rosie Brennan, who put forth a determined performance to cross the line in third, just behind Linn Svahn of Sweden. Other notable American performances on the day came from JC Schoonmaker, who finished 6th in the men's sprint final, and Julia Kern, who just missed the women's sprint final in 7th. Now the final weekend of World Cup racing awaits which will have athletes closing out the season in Falun, Sweden.

Tour de Finn: Inaugural Season Celebration

March 10, 2024
With the ski season winding down, join the Tour de Finn in celebrating its inaugural season this Saturday, March 16th, at Finn Sisu. There will be food, drinks, and door prizes, and also awards for some of the top placing individuals and teams in the series, so be sure to check the final standings beforehand. All are welcome!

World Cup Racing: Drammen Schedule

March 10, 2024
On their way to Falun, Sweden for the final weekend of the World Cup, athletes will have a 24-hour layover in Drammen, Norway on Tuesday for a round of classic sprints in the city. The action will kick off at 5:30 AM CDT with a qualifier for all competitors, and then it's on to the heats at 8:00 AM CDT where the top-30 advancing athletes will vie for the second-to-last sprint points of the season.

World Cup Oslo: Men's Classic Marathon

March 10, 2024
Subdued at home yesterday, the Norwegian team was out in force on Sunday for the men's edition of the World Cup 50K event in Oslo. Much of the mass-start field remained in contention though the midpoint of the race, but that field started to be whittled down as the finish drew near, and with a only a few kilometers to go that group was reduced to less than a dozen athletes with a majority of them sporting Norwegian suits. Those odds would play into the host nation's favor as five of its athletes crossed the line first in a mass-finish, the first of that group being Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo who earned his first marathon victory. Joining him on the podium were his fellow countrymen, Martin Loewstroem Nyenget and Paal Golberg. Finishing in the top half of the field, Scott Patterson was the highest placing US athlete in 25th. Not part of the day's race but receiving recognition was Jessie Diggins who was awarded the prestigious Holmenkollen Medal, Norwegian skiing's highest award for competitors. After a day off athletes will relocate to Drammen, Norway for a single day of classic sprints through the city streets.

World Cup Oslo: Women's Classic Marathon

March 9, 2024
Just as last year's World Cup 50K event in Oslo was the first of it's kind for the women's field in the freestyle technique, this year's 50K event was the first of it's kind for the women's field in the classic technique. Skiing six laps on the rolling and revered Holmenkollen course, the race was off to a quick pace from the start with a group of less than a dozen separating themselves from the rest of the field early on. Only gaining ground as the race went on, Sweden's Frida Karlsson led the breakaway for much of contest, breaking free herself with under 10K to go to earn a well-deserved victory in Norway. Hot on her trail was her teammate Ebba Andersson who slid into second, and after her, an exciting sprint finish in which Germany's Katharina Hennig just nipped Austria's Teresa Stadlober at the line for third. Putting on an admiral performance to maintain her lead in the overall World Cup standing, Jessie Diggins was the top finisher of the US women in 11th. Sunday will feature a repeat of today's race with the men's field getting their chance to compete in the 50K event.

Biathlon: History Made at Home for U.S. Biathlon Men’s Team

March 8, 2024
Continuing a streak of success when it comes to US skiers racing on home soil, the US biathlon men's team made history on Friday after their relay team of Vincent Bonacci, Sean Doherty, Campbell Wright, and Jake Brown earned a best-ever fourth place during the ongoing IBU competitions at Soldier Hollow.

World Cup Racing: Oslo Schedule

March 6, 2024
World Cup athletes will have one thing, and one thing only on their mind this weekend: a classic marathon race at the hollowed Holmenkollen ski venue outside Oslo, Norway. Covering six 8.3K laps for a total of 50K, the mass-start classic event will be spread across two days, Saturday and Sunday, with the women's field racing on the former at 3:30 AM CST, and the men's field racing on the latter at 4:30 AM CDT (daylight savings change!). Only five scoring events remain in the World Cup season, so if you've been watching the standings closely you won't want to miss this weekend's competitions!

World Cup Lahti: Freestyle Sprints

March 3, 2024
Sunday brought freestyle sprints, and with them the final day of World Cup racing in Lahti, Finland. A form of groundhogs day for some, and potentially a recurring nightmare for others, the women's final was again made up of three of the Swedish favorites—Jonna Sundling, Linn Svahn, and Maja Dahlqvist—and the Norwegian giant, Kristen Stavaas Skistad. Sundling was the one to throw the lastest punch between the two nations, so naturally it was Skistad's turn to return the favor as she skied away with the win well before the finish, leaving Sweden to seek solstice in a third place finish by Dahlqvist after a surprising second place finish by Coletta Rydzek of Germany. Precedent took preference in the men's final as well with Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway again outlasting his repeated rival, Lucas Chanavat of France, to take the win, overshadowing a first World Cup podium by Valerio Grond of Switzerland in third. The struggles continued for the US squad on Sunday, as four skiers were able to qualify for the heats, but non were able to advance. JC Schoonmaker and Julia Kern made it the furthest, finishing 13th and 16th respectively. A week of rest will be all but required of athletes before the upcoming weekend in Oslo, Norway where a classic marathon will be the headliner at the legendary Holmenkollen ski venue.

World 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.

World 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

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.

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!