What is birkie fever? Cross-country skiers are hearty folk. The compulsion to race marathon-length distances in subfreezing conditions requires an eternally optimistic and fiercely independent spirit. The fear of blinding snow or paralyzing cold does not deter them, and it has been said that skiers do not merely laugh at adversity; they are completely oblivious to its existence. America's greatest cross-country ski race is the American Birkebeiner or "Birkie" for short.
Every year, thousands of people journey from all over the globe to Hayward, Wisconsin, for a world-class celebration of life, winter, and the competitive spirit. Prior to the race, local participants find themselves in the throes of a unique and natural euphoria. They thrill at the prospect of participating shoulder to shoulder with elite international competitors in a wild race through the great Northwoods wilderness. Beyond Birkie Fever is the story of how America's magnificent cross-country ski marathon can expand your horizons and be the gateway to experiences beyond anything you'd ever hoped to imagine!