So, that happened.
The Birkie happened (it probably shouldn’t have), and the fat bike happened, and then, pandemic. The Birkie has run a couple of smaller races this fall, and done so successfully, but since the covid rates have spiked, especially in Wisconsin, and while the race is going forward on all (well, most) cylinders, there will be a lot of changes.
On the one hand, thousands of people have still signed up for the race. That allows the Birkie to maintain their trail and programming going forward. That is important for the long term operations for the race and organization. It’s almost like the Birkie is something that people value highly! Plus, it’s an outdoor even, socially distanced (an arm plus a ski pole is six feet at least) and most people wear face coverings anyway.
In addition, because the race can be spread over the trail and the whole day and multiple days, the Birkie will probably be the largest single athletic event to take place during the pandemic in the United States. The Elite skiers will be finished with the race long before the last skiers start.
But will it be a race? Sort of. It will have waves, and times, and for the tip-top skiers might have a mass start, but the times won’t matter for wave placement, and with limited resources available on-course, skiers are asked to ski with precaution. And ski virtually if they have any medical conditions, and given various travel restrictions, the large contingent of out-of-towners should consider skiing closer to home. It’s a good day to stay safe, while still getting a pin, hat, and most importantly, completion credit towards your Birchlegger bib.
What about this site? Most of this site is based on a normal event. That will probably stay. In the next few weeks we will be working on a 2021 event page, but deferring mostly to the Birkie. Yes, we’ll obsess over weather, but less-so over traffic and lodging and logistics, since it will be so different.
The podcast will continue! There are a couple of queued episodes which need to be produced, and several others. We’ll probably have more frequent updates with Birkie race officials, in order to keep people up-to-date through the podcast. And hopefully a bunch of other fun episodes as well.
Unfortunately, without a Main Street finish there will be no Main Street podcast, but we will ask for people to send in autio clips from their race to stitch together.
Stay safe, keep ‘er movin’ and check back soon.