American Birkebeiner festivities spark excitement

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It’s the 48th year of the American Birkebeiner cross country ski races. America’s largest cross country ski race that starts in Cable then trails down to Hayward.

To learn more about the Birkebeiner events you can find them on their website here.

Wednesday marked the start of the Open Track races and skiers were eager to get on trails.

Colorado native Alexander Miller and his wife both checked out the race. The skier says, "I was trying to keep in shape, we trained pretty hard for this and I thought I did pretty well."

The Open Track Races were an opportunity for skiers to go at their own pace. Race Chief Jean O’Connell says, “The idea is to get people out on that beautiful trail without a thousand people around them and have a chance to ski one of three distances."

The Open Track is one of the many events taking place over the next four days, drawing in thousands of racers.

O’Connell says, “This is a multi-country event, you know it is definitely a global race. There will be fewer global skiers due to COVID. But we have skiers from every state or almost every state."

And even with the pandemic the work put into the race continues to be massive. "We were here putting up fences, putting up all the banners, getting Main Street to be ready for the event since Monday. And working in blizzard conditions”, says Jean.