On the heels of yesterday's announcement that weather conditions had forced the shortening of the American Birkebeiner course from 51 to 23 kilometers, organizers of this year's ski race have released new information regarding details for this weekend's events.
A 40% chance of snow is forecast for Friday in the Hayward area in northern Wisconsin, where the Birkie takes place, rising to 70% after midnight. Fresh snow would mitigate the damage done by Wednesday's 52-degree high and rain that rendered some parts of the course bare of snow.
The latest reports describe the Birkie trail is "hard-packed with icy spots," and indicate that three inches of new snow will be prerequisite for a safe course and race -- and for the grooming of classic tracks for the race. The final call on the race will be made at 9 p.m. Friday in the Telemark Lodge's lobby and posted online.
Organizers are also announcing that wave starts for the Birkie will be delayed two hours on Saturday, with the first wave of elite men starting at 10:20 a.m.
The Kortelopet has likewise been shortened, to 18 kilometers, with the first wave departing at 10:30 a.m. -- again, a two-hour delay.
Distribution of transponder timing chips will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday in the lobby of Telemark Lodge's Red Arrow Room.
Also of note: Screenings and discussions of An Inconvenient Truth are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. this evening and 11 a.m. Friday.
More details, including bus logistics, plans for the 2.5-kilometer Junior Birkie, the 7.8K Prince Haakon race and the 10K/5K family race -- along with further updates -- are available from the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.