After the Race

Note that with covid, a lot of this is probably very different. A lot of this post, for 2022, will be speculation, so take it with a grain of salt.

  • Put on dry clothing. The worst thing you can do is wander around Hayward in wet race clothes for hours. Go to the changing tent (which may or may not exist in 2022) and put on dry clothes. You might get covid in the tent, but you will catch cold if you’re standing around drinking in damp race gear all afternoon.
  • Get a feed. The feed tent has soup, bread, bananas, cookies, and all sorts of things you may want. By soup, we mean warm, chicken-y salt water with some overcooked pasta. You want that. It’s probably to-go with covid, so get ready to eat it outside and hope the weather is nice.
  • Get a feed. The celebration tent has food for sale, like brats. You are in Wisconsin, so you really should have a brat. Plus, you just burned 2000-4000 calories, so you really should have a brat. You can also buy brats on Main Street. (see below)
  • Get a feed. Many establishments around town sell lots of food. You can smell the sausages sizzling up and down Main Street. It’s all good. I had a nice chat with the sausage makers in the 2018 Main Street recap is here. Angler sells food and beverages outside, it’s reasonably covid-safe but it gets crowded.
  • Get a feed. One year, we went in to the Marketplace and someone said “I smell chicken.” We bought a rotisserie chicken. We took it out on the lake and ate it with our hands. It was glorious.
  • Get a beer. You’re in a small town in Northern Wisconsin. There are at least ten bars to choose from. In 2020, we all crowded into the Mocc and we may have all gotten covid yelling at each other in a crowd. Who knows! So do what you’re comfortable with; I assume it’s mask optional this year. Skiers are welcome at any bar in town. Anglers is on Main Street and always packed; their beer garden is a great place to grab a beer and a brat and watch the race. The Moccasin is next door and is usually cheek-by-jowl packed. Highly recommended (especially if you want covid). For packaged liquor, find a liquor store/gas station. The Marketplace (the one you may have hallucinated coming off the lake as you skied around it) has a good selection. It’s Wisconsin, after all. If you are under 21 and have a Birkie bib, well, you can probably take your chances. If you are under 21 and are with a parent or guardian, drink up! It’s legal in Wisconsin. Can you drink on the lake? Probably, but considering there are people who sit there in lawn chairs with shot ski feeds, we’re pretty sure people will look the other way on Birkieday. (Or year-round. It’s Wisconsin.) Can you drink on the sidewalks? It’s unclear, but no one really seems to mind. Can you drive drunk? No. Get a DD, or sober up on the bus ride.
  • Talk to the media. WOJB does interviews at the finish line. Definitely respond if they say “what’s your name, where ya from.” I’ll be conducting interviews as well. Look for me with a media bib, an iPhone, and a backpack full of beer.
  • Get on a bus. Buses to parking lots at Telemark and Como leave often about a block up past the finish line. Since the buses take a while to get you to your car, it’s a good chance to sober up!
  • Get ready to wait. With the new bridge, Hayward devolves in to gridlock much less so than it used to, so no more half hour wait to get through town. Although it’s the only road open through town, so expect some slowdowns. It might be worth driving east across on Highway 77 to miss the congestion if you’re headed to the Cities. Remember that OO and Mosquito Brook are closed in to the afternoon on race day.
  • Cheer on everyone else. People will finish all day long. Ski or walk out across the lake and let people know they are doing awesome (even if they look differently). Main Street fills up with more and more skiers as the day progresses, both finishing and cheering. It’s a good time. I’ve accomplished this with alacrity during warmer years (and even colder ones), getting a couple of six packs and making our way out on to Lake Hayward (I’ll be here, weather dependent). It was amazing, especially since we weren’t driving for a few hours.
  • Go to the Sawmill Saloon. In Seeley. 10 miles north of Hayward. A big party. With New Glarus on tap. Covid-friendly? Probably not!
  • And here is some information from Johnny Klister, some of which is inappropriate for this page. I don’t always agree with Johnny Klister, but they did call this blog post “remarkably good” and describe more about what to do after the race. It’s a bit raunchy, but it’s Johnny Klister, what do you expect. This is my first year not coaching at the race, and I intend to partake. (We’re now hosting the original post here)