Behind the Birkie Scenes| Food Stations Volunteers on the Birkiebeiner Trail

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You know your are truly blessed to work with Birkie volunteers when they say: “Monica, just put me in wherever you need me and I’ll be there! Many sign up to work in different areas.

Each year more than 500 volunteers contribute their time and expertise to the Canadian Birkie Ski Festival. Over 1500 cross-country skiers enjoy the ski events our volunteers worked on. In “Behind the Birkie Scenes” you can read a bit more about our volunteers and the work that is involved with organising the festival. The following post has been written by Monica Wartenberg, Chief of Volunteers.

Food Stations Volunteers on the Birkiebeiner Trail

You know your are truly blessed to work with Birkie volunteers when they say: “Monica, just put me in wherever you need me and I’ll be there! Many sign up to work in different areas.

Charles World, our Chief of Loppet, oversees the event and guides Canadian Birkebeiner Society board members and loppet members to plan, prepare and achieve the most amazing loppet right in our back yard. Among his many tasks, Charles is instrumental in organizing the Food Station teams, ensuring every volunteer group has a station where they will join in the fun and cheer on our skiers.

The Volunteers

Early Birkie Saturday, the Food Station volunteers are shuttled by the transportation team to 10 food stations — strategically located over the 2/4km and 8km circuits, and the 13km, 31km and 55km courses. Wood fires are started to keep people warm, the essence of a wood fire inviting to all. Others prepare wholesome treats and beverages to entice racers to pause briefly in their pursuit of a fast cross-country ski race. Volunteers hold out trays of warmed Gatorade as the skiers swish by — the perfect elixir to evince a bit more stamina. Perhaps a pickle will be offered, or a Fig Newton.

Some teams gear up in Viking spirit…helmets, shields and swords. ARRRR!!!!!

The music inspires even the skiers to do their best Viking hip hop on skis!

The Skiers

Food Stations provide the sustenance that will help us conquer the race.

The beaming smiles of our volunteers — cheering us on and making sure we are ok – motivate us to press on. The Gatorade may provide enough impetus for another 5 km under our skis.

We ski on looking forward to the next Food Station.

Each Food Station team, some a constant every year, some returning after a short hiatus and some new teams joining the excitement, tell stories shared over the years since the Canadian Birkie began in 1985 first in Devon, and then at Waskahegan.

We are so very grateful to our Food Station volunteers for the many hours they take care of us.

The sun begins to set on the horizon as the last skiers pass through Food Stations along the long courses. The Ski Patrol/First Aid sweep comes through to ensure all skiers arrive safely at the finish line.

Huge smiles, full hearts.

What a wonderful day to share with new friends! The stories will unfold at the Viking Feast. Until the next time we meet again on our journey over trails through enchanted forests.

 

Find out more about volunteering with the Canadian Birkie: https://revealdesign.ca/dev/canbirk/volunteers/