Tom and Chris Lawn will build on a decades-long family tradition by re-enacting a centuries-old legend in the 2013 American Birkebeiner.
Picked to don wooden skis and the traditional garb of Norwegian Warriors Torstein and Skervald, the father and son will join Lori House as the Birkie’s historic ambassadors. House, of Madison, will ski in the role of Inga of Varteig, the mother of Prince Haakon, saved from invaders on the historic journey at the root of the Birkebeiner story.
Chris Lawn penned the trio’s winning entry in the Birkie Warrior contest: “This is a once in a lifetime experience that we would love to share with our families. We hope for it to become our favorite Birkie memory! We would be honored if you would please consider us for the Warriors and Inga! We promise to do our best to carry on this awesome tradition!”
Chris Lawn, of Madison, has skied 17 full Birkebeiners. Tom Lawn, the former president of the Northern Kettle Moraine Nordic Ski Club, has notched 27 Birkies. House has skied three Birkies and one Kortelopet.
“The American Birkebeiner has been a long standing tradition in our family,” Chris Lawn, a father of five, wrote.
“My parents Tom and Sue learned to ski when they were new parents. My brother, sister and I grew up looking forward to the Birkie each and every year. My Dad and I, along with our family, have never missed a Birkie since we first each toed the line 28 and 18 years ago. Now as a father of 5, I have continued the tradition with my family.
“Through skiing we have met so many fantastic people and our dear friend Lori and her family are some of them. Lori, a mother of three, would make a great Inga. She is newer to skiing than my dad and I, but has also started the Birkie tradition with her family. For the past few years we have made the Barnebirkie a tradition that we do together as families. It has been so fun watching our children grow each year together and hope we are instilling a lifelong love for Nordic skiing in each of them.”