55 km Torskeklubben Birkebeiner with pack
Skiers recreate the legend of the original Birkebeiner skiers by carrying the equivalent of the infant crown prince, a 5.5 kg (12 lb) pack.
If you are unsure if your pack qualifies, either bring your pack to the bib pick up at the Nordic Fair on Friday or arrive early at the starting line on Saturday morning. If you are not carrying the correct pack throughout the full 55 km distance, you run the risk of being disqualified so please ensure your pack meets the minimum weight requirement.
What’s the route?A point to point course from the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village along the east edge of Elk Island National Park and through the scenic Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. It is gently rolling terrain which translates to lots of small ups and downs, and trails winding around beaver ponds and hills.
The finish line for all races is at Waskehegan Staging Area in Cooking Lake/Blackfoot PRA, located just east of Sherwood Park.
A free shuttle bus service for finishers runs from the finish line (in the Stadium) back to vehicles at the Long Start at the UCHV. Runs continuously all day until 5:30 pm.
Spectators, family wanting to pick up finishers
There is no parking at the Waskehegan Staging Area in Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, where the finish lines and stadium are located. Spectators who wish to see the finish of any event can park at the Bethel Transit Station in Sherwood Park (shown here on the Venues Map) and take the Birkie Shuttle to the Finish area. The shuttle take approximately 30 minutes, depending on weather.
There will also be a bus which will run from Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (UCHV) (Start of Long Courses) to Waskehegan Staging Area (Finish Line, Start of Short Courses) for those who want to see their friend off at the start line and then watch them come across the finish line or ski their own short event. Catch this bus outside the Red Barn at 9:50 am (after the Classical race starts but before the start of the Skate Ski event).