Birkebeiner will take place, but with safety protocols

FILE - There won't be a Hayward finish line or spectators at this year's Birkie. FILE - There won't be a Hayward finish line or spectators at this year's Birkie. |  Photo: Chelsie Brown/WDIO-TV file

The Associated Press
Created: February 11, 2021 12:16 PM

CABLE, Wis. (AP) — The American Birkebeiner Ski Race in northern Wisconsin will look different this year because of coronavirus safety protocols.

Organizers of the event, promoted as North America's largest and longest cross-country ski race, have stretched it from a single day to five days from Feb. 24-28. The plans were announced last fall.

Last year about 11,000 skiers participated in the race, which can draw as many 30,000 spectators. This year, organizers are expecting under 5,000 skiers to race in person with no spectators allowed.

The race's executive director, Ben Popp, says the event usually attracts skiers from across the globe, but this year the majority of participants will be coming from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Birkie to be spread over five days


The Associated Press

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