44th Annual Birkiebeiner Events Held Despite Unseasonable Weather

February 23, 2017 05:38 PM

No snow was no problem for hundreds of kids who came out to Hatchery Creek Park for Thursday's Birkiebeiner kick-off events.

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

"I was really excited about skiing but this is going to be fun too," said Eva Skustad, a participant in the BarneBirkie this year.

"This is my first year doing it running," said Heidi Stoffregen, another participant in the race.

This year, the BarneBirkie and Junior Birkie were among several races that required a change of scenary due to weather conditions. Those races ended up being foot races instead of skiing.

"This was all planned in just a few from moving our ski race on main street to out here (the park)," said Kristy Maki, Sports Development Manager for the Birkie. "Most people don't think about all the parts that have to meh together to pull something like this off."

But Maki says less than ideal weather wouldn't stop the celebration.

"We're all about living healthy, active lifestyles. We wanted to make sure kids still had the opportunity to come out and be active with or without snow," said Maki.

Stacy Stoffregen and her family have been coming to the Birkie for the past ten years, and she's holding on to hope that she will be able to hit the trails Saturday.

"We just love skiing. It's a nice course and event every year," said Stoffregen."Hopefully, it will still be on."

Still, Thursday proved there's no shortage of enjoyment.

"Everyone's having a great time," said Maki. "It would have been great to have more snow but we're still putting something on."

As of Thursday, the trails did open for people who wanted to ski, however, the trail manager says it is still icy, thin and has some bare spots. It's recomeneded only advanced skiiers go on it. 

Organizers say they are in wait and see mode for if Saturday's race will happen or not. That call will be made Friday.

If the trails fail to get the needed snow, this year's race will turn into the first ever Birkie Festival in downtown Hayward including live music and other activities.


Copyright 2017 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


'Multiple Fatalities' on Derailed Amtrak Train

ATV Goes through Ice on Rice Lake; 1 dead

Authorities Respond to ATV Accident on Rice Lake Road

Police Chief Discusses Concerns About Protective Riot Gear with Community

Chester Bowl Opens for Ski Season

Updated: Names Released in Fatal Snowmobile Crash