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Excellent conditions make for record Birkie

Mark Gherty at start of 37th American Birkebeiner, shows a banner for Team Fox, for Parkinson's Research. Gherty skied for the charity and has raised $2,276. Submitted photo

Excellent snow conditions, hard-working skiers and volunteers, and beautiful weather produced record-setting results at the 37th American Birkebeiner Saturday in Hayward.

More than 10,000 skiers participated in the Barnebirkie (children's race), Junior Birkie, Elite Sprints, Cheq-Tel (10km), Birkie Skate (50km) and Classic (54km), Kortelopet (23 km) Skate and Classic, and Prince Haakon (12km).

Gov. James Doyle sent off the elite wave of skiers at 8 a.m. from the Cable Regional Airport, adjacent to Telemark Resort. The citizen racers were sent off in waves at 10-minute intervals commencing at 8:20 a.m. The Birkie Skate and Classic races finish on Main Street in Hayward. The Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races finish at Telemark.

Course records were set in the Birkebeiner Skate and the Kortelopet Skate. Italian Fabio Santus broke a 1997 record finishing with a time of 1:56:58.6. Rebecca Dussault of Gunnison, Colo., was the women's champion with a time of 2:18:18.1. Rhinelander's Chris Cook was the top Wisconsin finisher, with a third place 1:58:41.0.

High school students from Wisconsin and Minnesota dominated the top spots in the Kortelopet. Washburn's Scott Johanik established a new course record finishing the 23km course in 57:18. Dana Roach of Minocqua's Lakeland High School finished in 1:06:50.

Hudson residents who participated were:

Birkebeiner Skate

Michael J. Bernsteen, 3:58:08.2; Scott T. Everson, 3:42:25.2 ; Mark J. Gherty 6:01:02.9; William Gorham 5:02:24.7; Paul F. Jaeger 3:18:28.2; Robert L. Kondrasuk 3:17:39.3; John R. Koski, 41 3:08:10.4 Scott Larson 3:41:27.1; David P. Mataya, 3:16:37.0; Tom F. Meyer 4:26:00.6; Walter E. Milbrath 4:27:52.2; Robert J. Moser 3:09:14.1; Allen J. Omernik, 3:58:55.6; Kathryn S. Roberts, 3:48:16.1; Einar S. Sandom, 4:00:04.7; Warren B. Schneider 3:28:52.4; Gregory L. Young 3:03:06.8.

Birkebeiner Classic

Jon R. Hauser 5:04:34.1; Joseph T. Lowery, 7:00:51.1; Dan M. Pagels, 6:22:49.1; Jeffrey S. Roberts, 4:10:34.3.

Kortelopet Skate

Raymond H. Lee 1:23:54.6; Gregory J. Lowe 2:26:53.2; John Tjornehoj 1:23:28.7; Dan M. Tjornehoj 1:46:34.5; Heidi M. Young 1:40:02.3.

Kortelopet Classic

James Cumming 1:58:07.8; Rebecca A. Lowery 3:32:56.2; William Schneider 2:05:08.2; Claire Zajac 3:28:32.7; Tom Zeuli 3:04:16.2.

Prince Haakon

Lindsey M. Knutson 1:10:36.6; Nadja Mataya, 1:07:16.1; Marybeth Mataya 1:08:37.6.

The American Birkiebeiner started 37 years ago as a race to celebrate the rescue of a Norwegian prince in the year 1206 and promote cross country skiing has grown into a 3 day celebration drawing skiers and spectators from around the world.