Birkie Training Group Mid-Week Session

Course Content:
The focus will be on developing ski specific fitness and improving technique and efficiency on skis. It will also include current practical info and tips on topics like equipment, waxing, clothing, stretching, hydration and nutrition and race strategies to help you plan and ski your best Birkie yet (and/or other loppets or races you participate in over the season). 

A highlight will be two longer ski days incorporated out at Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area to help you learn and enjoy the trails and terrain in Birkieland

You should have average to excellent fitness, have at least two years of cross country skiing experience and be able to ski a minimum of 10 km to register for this course.

COVID 19 protocols may be in effect during all Birkie training classes. Instructor will email you prior to class with any instructions.


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Dates and Times:

10 two-hour sessions Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m.- Noon starting November 29, 2022
November 29, 2022
December 6, 13, 20, 2022
January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2023
Feb 7, 2023


  • $200
  • Minimum 6 to run the course
  • No refunds if the course is run, including for illness/COVID

Scheduled days will be between Lower Gold Bar park shelter at 10955 50 Street, Strathcona Wilderness Centre and Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area.  An email the night before will communicate the exact location. Two of the instruction days will consist of longer sessions at Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area with dates and locations by mutual arrangement, based on weather and ski conditions.

Lead Instructor:

Joy Mekechuk will be the Lead Instructor for the Mid-Week program this year. An Edmonton Nordic Ski Club instructor and coach and an accomplished Birkie skier, Joy has her Level 3 CANSI and an extensive cross-country ski racing background, representing Alberta both Nationally and Internationally. She will create and foster an environment for learning while improving classic technique and ski awareness. An activation warm up will be followed by technique and drills moving to a focused ski. 

CANSI = Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors