Seeley Hills Classic

As many as 500 skiers will head to the American Birkebeiner Trail this Saturday for the annual Seeley Hills Classic, an all-classical technique race featuring 42K and 22K races starting at Highway 00.

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The 5K high school race follows the start of the main races.

This race, sanctioned by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, is sponsored by the Seeley Ski Club. The 42K event is a Birkebeiner qualifying race and serves as the unofficial Midwest Classic Ski Race Championships.

It also connects some of the biggest cross-country ski events across the region, as “The Seeley Hills Classic is the first of six races in the new CXC Marathon Series,” said race director Dennis Kruse.

Skiers in the 42K will start at the north side of 00, head north on the Birkie Classic Trail and return on the Birkie Trail back to 00. They will then cross 00 and ski south for 11 kilometers to the turnaround and return north to finish at the warming building.

Skiers of the 22K race will start at the south side of 00, ski south for 11K to the turnaround and head north to 00 for the finish.

Winners of the 42K receive cash awards in first, second and third place for men and women’s divisions. Age class winners in both races will receive pottery from Blue Moon.

The first 500 skiers registered will receive a Swix classic ski hat, and each finisher receives a bowl of soup and roll at the Sawmill Saloon in Seeley after the race, where awards and raffle prize drawings will be held.

A spaghetti feed will be held the night before the race at the Sawmill, where raffle tickets will be available for purchase.

This race has brought in Olympians, past Birkebeiner winners and Paralympic athletes in the past years. It serves as the major fundraiser for the Seeley Hills Club, allowing them to promote skiing in a number of ways — ski clinics in conjunction with the Birkebeiner and USSA, lighting for the 00 trail area, development and maintenance of new ski trails in Seeley area and grooming equipment purchases.

For more information, call (715) 798-3571 or email kruseski@cheqnet.net.

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