Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday at the Birkie

This edition of Sunday in My City is coming to you live from Downtown Hayward and the 40th annual American Birkebeiner Race.

Well, actually the race was yesterday, but I'm still live and in person in Hayward to tell you all about it.

Imagine if you will a cross country ski race 30+ miles long with 10,000 racers which finishes on Main Street of a tiny little berg of just over 2,600 people. 

Can you imagine it?

Well, I'm here to SHOW it to you. 

As the skiers round the corner heading for the finish line they pass this Olympic style torch.
From there they ski right up Main Street.

These are some of the early finishers - - - you know - - - the ones that weigh about 90 pounds soaking wet and have been racing in these things since they were 3.

With the finish line in sight they ski past 30,000 or so spectators, lining both sides of the street,  all cheering wildly, and ringing their cow bells.

There's even a jumbo-tron for those too deep in the crowd to see the real deal.

Most of the skiers finish the race as if they'd just walked to the corner store and back - - - but we did see one who collapsed as he crossed the line.

They'd have to send ski patrol way back near the start line to scrape me up off the snow if I ever was fool hearty enough to attempt this race!
Fisherhubby says he's going to enter next year.

He said that last year too, and you see how THAT worked out.

I think he's too old and feeble to BEGIN this at 60.

Every skier wears a bib, and on every bib is a number, and every number identifies that skier and his belongings.

We'll get to the belongings later.

Buses wait to haul skiers back to Cable where the race began if that is where they need to go to get to their cars and hotels.

During the race skiers' belongings are stored in these bags, all labeled with the ski bib number.
There are folks who work all day to "fill up"  skiers AND spectators.

Fisherhubby and I imbibed in brats from these guys and they were juicy and delicious - - - especially standing out in the snow.

The brats were juicy and delicious, I'll let you make your own conclusion about the guys.

All around the side streets are stations to "empty" the crowd once they are "filled up."

You gotta go when you gotta go. 

There were eyes in the sky checking all day long on the progress below.
Main Street Hayward is a "balcony zone"

Some, like this one, were used to give invited guests a birds eye view of the race.

Others provided free bill board space.

Our friend Kevin, whom we met peddling his wares at last year's Birkie, was back with Elvis and a new improved line of merchandise.

Fisherhubby got a Birkie hat just like Elvis'.

The Birkie Trolls were happy to meet Kevin and Elvis.

We need to take a moment to highlight Birkie spectator fashion.

Footwear is MOST important - - - the foot that stays warm keeps the whole body warm. 

A nice light-weight ski jacket is also a must. 
And let's not forget to cover our heads!

Meet Lynn in a fox fur cap - - - he said it was actually too hot for the day.
When your head gets too hot, you simply loosen the chin straps and let 'em flap.

After a long hard day skiing or spectating, what could be better than a nice warm coffee shop with free wi fi?
Especially when that coffee shop also has muffins like these!

That's all I have for this special Birkie edition of SIMC.  Please click below to join the party and see what's going on in other cities all over this globe.

I'm joining Unknown Mami
For Sunday in My City.

My city today is Hayward, Wisconsin


Barb said...

Really awesome photo essay, Keetha! I felt like I was right there with you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking us along on the "ride". Loved it!

Sandy said...

Oh yes, memory lane for sure....Small towns dotting the Upper Midwest with festivals to bring folks together....BRR in the winter and great in the summer....
Thanks for taking me along on your Birkie Race Day...
Love from NC

Charlotte said...

Brr! Too cold for me but looks like fun!

Tara R. said...

Looks like one huge block party! I would even brave the cold for some good brats and one of those muffins.

Vidya Sury said...

I love the balcony zone! And the muffins look so inviting.

Gosh, I'd love an Elvis too!

Hugs, Keetha. You're an amazing host! :D

Xiomara A. Maldonado said...

Looks like tons of fun to watch… I don't know how to ski, but I'd sure like to try one day. ~Xiomara of Equis Place

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What an amazing event! I can just feel the excitement. Very different from the relaxing day at the park I spent! Enjoy your evening! Hugs!

Karen Lakis said...

I loved this! I cross country skied for my first time this year and can NOT imagine 30 miles - wow! I love the hat fashion - that's fun! And snow tires on bikes? Very cool. said...

I love your town's spirit. And I'll take a muffin and brat to keep me warm. The guy on the far left is slightly juicy and delicious looking. He could keep me warm too.

Cheers, Keetha. Have a good, warm week.

Dorothy said...

Looks like a good time! It's snowing again here and I blame you for wishing it on me last weekend!! I've wanted to try x-country skiing but the fact that I hate being cold has kept me from doing so. I could have used snow tires on my bike this morning. Took a few spills on some unplowed roads.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I remember you posting about this last year!

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

What fun! Since there were a good number of pictures in this post, does that mean that you're using your new Ultrabook? ;-)

Erin said...

That looks like so much fun!

Rebecca Jo said...

I'm gonna have nightmares because of those trolls!!!!!

That looks like so much fun! I love that the community is so supportive & comes out.

Forget the work - just let me go have those muffins!

Unknown said...

We are snowed in with whiteout conditions. Our foot of snow would probably make you laugh! But it's the first significant moisture we have had in months so we're not complaining! I love you comment about the juicy and delicious....brats...... Lol! Is this posted from your new lappy?

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Now that is a long race and I had no idea that 10,000 people are in it! That must be very exciting to watch. Sounds like you had a nice time.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I think cow bells should be utilized in all sports.

podso said...

You all have more fun in the snow! congrats on the new laptop -- best I can tell it looks like you still have a divided house!

nancygrayce said...

I probably couldn't even stand the watching.....this old southern belle would freeze her buns off! But I'll be rooting for Fisherhubby next year!

Love the Elvis guy and the juicy brat guys.....I'm guessing brats are like hot dogs? :)

Looks like you had a good time and wow at those bags of belongings! I thought for a moment they were sand bags! You know like we need for our flooding right now!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

We had a great time with you two Friday night!
Looks like you two had a great time in Hayward!
Saw Greg's updates on fb.
Need to have you over soon.
Hugs friend,

StarTraci said...

Wow! You make me fall in love with your town every week. Looks like a lot of fun!


42N said...

We have nothing like this across the Mississippi River from you.

Mrs4444 said...

Very cool! I've never been to the Birkie. Thanks for sharing these great pics :)

Claudya Martinez said...

I love it when you chronicle this event.