This year, the Birkie was held a week “early”, i.e. not the last full weekend in February.
It’s probably a good thing. Here are the temperatures in Hayward for today the 27th (clear and sunny the whole time):
7 a.m. 28˚ (and several hours under 28 overnight = frozen and fast)
8 a.m. 31˚
9 a.m. 34˚
10 a.m. 41˚
11 a.m. 46˚
12 a.m. 49˚
1 p.m. 51˚
2 p.m. 54˚
3 p.m. 53˚
4 p.m. 46˚
So, that would have been a pretty fast course for the elites, but even some of the south-facing hills (downhills, mostly, like the one at 34k and a couple after Mosquito Brook) would have probably been baking and slushy. But for later starters, anything out of the shade would have been corny. Which isn’t bad: it would have been fun, spring skiing. But no “better” than last week.
On the other hand, it would have been an excellent day for drinking beer on Lake Hayward.