The Drop Bag is stocked with Active Pursuit reading to enjoy at the finish line of your day, or a coffee break serving as the equivalent of an aid station. The name refers to the drop bags that competitors use to get their post-race necessities from the start line to the finish line of point-to-point races. Look for it as a mid-week feature on The Active Pursuit.
Forty and done: John Kotar was one of the first people I interviewed about the American Birkebeiner, when I started covering the race in 2004. That year, he was one of just four skiers who had skied them all. That number will grow smaller, after Kotar skis his 4oth and last Birkie on Saturday. The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram included this quote in a feature on Kotar: “Ski marathons — with any marathon — you keep yourself in shape. It’s kind of a target, a reason for being out there. Once you do the Birkie, it gets in your blood. You always want to do it better next year. It’s one of those searches for perfection, that perfect race, but conditions vary, your health may vary. It never happens.”
A warrior from Plymouth: Tom Lawn tested his wooden skis and wool costume on the Greenbush trails Saturday, in preparation for his turn as a Norwegian Warrior, recreating the rescue of Prince Haakon, in the 2013 Birkebeiner. Three generations of the Lawn family will be part of the pageantry: Tom, his son, Chris, and his granddaughter Kiersten. The Sheboygan Press has the story, photos and video.
Telemark turn-around: Anthony Melchiorri, from the show “Hotel Impossible,” wasn’t the first guest to find chaos and decay in the Telemark Resort, which is why Birkie weekend is one of the only times of year the hotel is filled. The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports that another turn-around is underway, with new ownership from Minnesota stepping up to tackle the challenge.
Packed and ready: The latest trail reports from the Birkebeiner promise a firm, smooth, near-perfect course from Cable to Hayward. This is how it gets done, piston bullies packing snow on Tuesday.