Could You Be the Next Winners?

Each year, a trio of skiers is selected to portray Prince Haakon’s mother Inga and the Birkebeiner warriors Torstein and Skjervald.  The three characters played a pivotal role in Norwegian history.  During civil war in 1206, Torstein and Skjervald skied through the mountains and rugged forests of Norway carrying the King’s son, Prince Haakon, to safety.

The skiers reenact the historic flight on wooden skis and in full period costume along the entire Birkie 54K classic race course, serving as Birkie Ambassadors, engaging with skiers and spectators along the way.  The dramatic journey culminates when Inga, the baby Prince, Torstein, and Skjervald ski up Main Street amidst cheers from spectators and skiers alike as they make their way to the finish line.

The 2023 contest is closed. 

Contest Details!

Ski the Birkie (or Korte) for Race Credit

Inga, Torstein, and Skjervald will receive Birkie credit for completing the race.

Free Entry

Each member of the winning group will also receive a free Birkie or Korte race entry for the current year or the following year if they have already registered for 2023.

Testimonials From Past Winners

“Portraying Skjervald at the Birkie was a wonderful way to celebrate this spectacular race, this beautiful sport, and my Norwegian heritage.  The warm response and connection with fellow skiers and spectators was far more than I expected.  I highly recommend others submit their applications to become warriors and Inga – it’s an unforgettable, joyful experience!”
– Steve Long, Duluth, MN (Skjervald)

“The energy and enthusiasm I received throughout the weekend was amazing.  Standing at the top of the bridge, with the adorable “Baby Haakon” on my back, looking down Main Street with people cheering and toasts being raised, will forever stand hairs up on my arms. It was a magical moment.”
Jen Pearson, Duluth, MN (Inga)

“I felt honored to portray Torstein and I loved sharing my enthusiasm for the American Birkebeiner.  Skiing up Main Street with the prince, Skjervald and Inga, made for a very memorable day.  It was an unforgettable experience.”
– Bruce Derauf, Duluth, MN (Torstein) 

Past Birkie Warriors and Ingas

Warriors

2022:

Jon Oestreich, Wausau, WI and Mike Cavanaugh, Wausau, WI

2020:

David Kettula, International Falls, MN and Vergil Pincknery, Rochester, MN

2019:

David Andresen, Ironwood, MI and William Andresen, Ironwood, MI

2018:
Grant Moos, St.Paul, MN and Marcus Magnuson, Champlin, MN

2017:
Scott Smith, Hayward, WI and Jeremy Smith, Salt Lake City, UT

2016:
Bruce Derauf and Steve Long, both from Duluth, MN

2015:
Jeremiah Menk, St. Paul, MN and Ben Menk, Minneapolis, MN

2014:
Erik Julsrud, Duluth, MN and Ryan Harden, Carlton, MN

2013:
Chris Lawn, Madison, WI, and Tom Lawn, Plymouth, WI

2012:
Darald Bothun and Barry Knapp, both from Rochester, MN

2011:
Gale Otterholt and Marv Franson, both from Eau Claire, WI

2010:
Brothers David Nelson, Medicine Lake, MN, and Grant Nelson, Duluth, MN

2009:
Jeff Cummisford, Waukesha, WI, and best friend, Richard Pierce, Verona, WI

2008:
Brothers Thom Gerst, Coon Rapids, MN, and Gary Gerst, Maple Grove, MN

Inga

2022:

Beth Oestreich, Wausau, WI

2020:

Tasha Pinckney, Rochester, MN

2019:

Carolyn Andresen Warren, Ironwood, MI

2018:
Eleanor Bacso, Duluth, MN, and baby Finn Greeson

2017:
Rebecca Ireland, Minneapolis, MN, and baby Reagan Aleksandr

2016:
Jen Pearson, Duluth, MN,  and baby Aspen Jo

2015:
Alison Menk, Minneapolis, MN, and baby Menk

2014:
Jennifer Julsrud, Duluth, MN.

2013:
Lori House, Madison, WI, and baby Keirsten Lawn (Chris’s daughter)

2012:
Kristin Bothun, Mankato, MN, daughter of Warrior Bothun, and Nikolai Fornear

2011:
Gretchen Lindgren, St. Cloud, MN, and her grandchild Finnley

2010:
Josie Nelson, Medicine Lake, MN, and son Karl

2009:
Lyndsey Lewis, Fort Collins, CO, and son Piercen

2008:
Gail Moede Rogall, Madison, WI, and son Bjorn