The American Birkebeiner is one of the largest cross-country ski races in the world. It is held every year in northern Wisconsin between Cable and Hayward.
Each February an estimated 40,000 skiers and spectators gather in Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin to take part in North America’s largest and greatest ski race, the American Birkebeiner. In homage to the races roots, every year the American Birkebeiner reenacts the historic flight of the Birkebeiner warriors, Torstein and Skervald, when two skiers in full traditional costume and on wooden skis reenact the escape along the entire 55K classic cross-country race course, surrounded by over 10,000 other determined skiers. Along the race course, the warriors are joined by Prince Haakon’s mother, Inga. The Birkebeiner warriors carry a baby doll throughout the journey and pick up an infant child to ski with them over the International Bridge, toward the finish line, and the thousands of cheering fans on Hayward’s snow-covered Main Street. It is a true celebration of the roots, legacy and traditions of the race.
An iconic world-class, International, sporting event, for over 40-years the American Birkebeiner has helped shape the lives of tens of thousands of participants from elite athletes to recreational citizen skiers. To date, over 250,000 skiers have finished American Birkebeiner ski events.