Beyond Birkie Fever, Walter Rhein



Cross-country skiers are hearty folk.  The compulsion to race marathon length distances in sub-freezing conditions requires an eternally optimistic and fiercely independent spirit.  The fear of blinding snow or paralyzing cold does not deter them, and it has been said that skiers do not merely laugh at adversity; they are completely oblivious to its existence!

America’s greatest cross-country ski race is the American Birkebeiner, or “Birkie” for short.  Every year, thousands of people journey from all over the globe to Hayward, Wisconsin, for a world-class celebration of life, winter and the competitive spirit.

Prior to the race, local participants find themselves in the throes of a unique and natural euphoria.  They thrill at the prospect of participating shoulder to shoulder with elite international competitors in a wild race through the great Northwoods wilderness.  It is the common person’s Olympic ideal!  It is Birkie Fever!

Far more than just a severe case of pre-race jitters, Birkie Fever is an adventurous compulsion that fuses with your very essence and forms an integral part of your innermost being.  It is the catalyst for a fundamental joy of life that gives you the courage to expand your dreams and the strength to achieve them!

“Beyond Birkie Fever” is the story of how America’s magnificent cross-country ski marathon can expand your horizons and be the gateway to experiences beyond anything you’d ever hoped to imagine!


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