When last I posted, Fisherhubby and I were headed into Hayward to OBSERVE our first ever Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race finish.
Please note, we only went as observers. While we have "dabbled" in cross country skiing, neither of us is anywhere close to ready to tackle a 30+ mile race.
No. Where. Near. Ready!!
Although Fisherhubby says he's going to enter next year.
Hmmmm, we'll see about that.
We were really excited to observe!
Out on the highways and byways coming into Hayward, we were plumb flabbergasted at the absence of ANY traffic. We wondered WHERE the crowds of 40,000+ were.
We FOUND them. They were ALL in Hayward ahead of us.
They were either in the race (9,200 of them raced in this portion today) or they were thronging the streets watching the finish of the race and ringing cowbells to cheer the skiers in.
We needed cowbells.
I had HOPED they would be easy to find/purchase on the streets.
Ummmm - - - not so much.
We began stopping in all the shops along the way asking if they had cowbells. NO.
Then we happened on this impromptu booth:
Meet Eric and Kevin.
No, they were NOT selling cowbells, but just look at those smiles!
Seems that LAST year Eric and Kevin decided, somewhat on a whim, to ENTER the Birkie - - - you know - - - as RACERS.
Neither of them were as yet cross country skiers.
In JANUARY they got skis and began to "learn" the sport. Because they were such novices, such rookies, they (and another friend who joined them, but whom I did not meet today) decided to create t-shirts for themselves. T-shirts which they PLANNED to wear in the race, being such novices they didn't REALIZE all entrants had to wear numbered ski bibs.
Nonetheless, they created themselves special t's to wear around the event.
They created exactly three t-shirts, one a piece.
They had SO MANY inquiries as to where they GOT the t's, that they decided to go into business. They had more of their infamous t-shirts created so they could sell them at this year's Birkie.
Such fun! Of COURSE I had to have one.
When I wear this, it will TOTALLY be as an imposter since I was merely a rookie OBSERVER and not a skier at all.
Still, with my total lack of athletic prowess it will be entirely possible I will be found face down in the snow AND I really SHOULD wear one of these slow moving vehicle caution triangles at all times.
Should you wish to purchase your own Birkie Rookie t-shirt, you may contact Eric and Kevin at birkierookie (at) gmail (dot) com.
Eric and Kevin had some pretty good ideas about where I could BUY a cowbell, even though they wouldn't sell me their one and only bell. Who knew they'd be SO attached to that one little bell!?
So, after just one more stop between the Rookie T-shirt booth and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I was able to procure these:
Two Birkie cowbells.
I got them at Walgreens, and they were two of only four remaining bells.
Please tune in tomorrow for the end of the Birkie saga.