Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Birkie for beginners

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The annual American Birkebeiner -- North America's largest cross-country ski race -- will hit the Northwoods of Wisconsin on Feb. 23.

The race is in its 35th year. If you've skied it before, what hints and pointers do you have to offer to the rookies?

Any tips on where to eat and/or play in the area of Cable and Hayward, where the race starts and ends?

On a recent visit to Hayward, I was really impressed with a B&B I stayed at: The McCormick House. It's owned by two former corporate guys who were living in London and had enough of the rat race. They've done an amazing job with this place. It's like walking into a Pottery Barn catalog -- such a refreshing change from the lace doilies and needlepoint. Fantastic breakfasts, too.

I stumbled upon a few other great finds in Hayward, but I'm saving those for a future story to run in the late spring.

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i haven't skied before but I really would love to learn how to ski.maybe I will try your suggestion.thanks.

I've done 27 Birkies. My five tips are:
1. Find some big hills to practice on even it's the local downhill facility like Villa Olivia.
2. Make sure you are carbo-loaded and well-hydrated.
3. Get good sleep two nights before the race.
4. Make sure you are dressed properly for the conditions.
5. Don't start too fast.

I am a Chicago Firefighter and own two properties in Cable Wisconsin. The Berke is one of the most amasing events I have ever seen. the sawmill Saloon on hwy 63 ten miles south of Cable is great place relax get lunch or have a latte.One of the most interesting event is six miles north of cable in the town of Drummond at Snowjacks bar and dinner. The barstool races. Barstool are attached to skies and decorrated any why the contestents wish to(ie. an airplane, a kitchen stove ect.).One person must sit on nthe barstool and the other pushes to the edge of the hill. the rider must cross the finish line sitting on the stool.This is just gut splitting fun. Mike the Fireman

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on January 30, 2008 4:11 AM.

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