New Year Round Birchleggings Club Activities Posted! Also see Birchlegger Stories...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Jack Moin is our 2018 Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award Recipient and More Birchleggings Club Lists Updated!

Jack Moin is our 2018 Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award Recipient. Below is the introduction of Jack that Birchleggings Club Board Member, Steve Carmazon, gave at the Birchleggings Club Awards Breakfast on February 25, 2018.

"The Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award is given out by the Birchleggings Club to those our Board has deemed have made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the American Birkebeiner and the sport of cross country skiing.

It's named after the American Birkebeiner founder, Tony Wise, for his vision in starting both the Birkie, Korte, Worldloppet, and developing the Birkie trail.

Tony may have paid for the building of the Birkie trail, but he didn't design it. He, (if you'll pardon the pun), wisely hired two great trail designers over time, who gave us what we know today as the skate trail. Those designers are Sven Wiik, and Marty Hall, both who received this award in 2010, and, as far as I know, were paid for their trail design work.

Fast forward thru history, as skiing technique evolved, what started out as a classic race, soon became a skating race, forcing classic skiers to share the trail, and, overtime, the numbers of classic skiers dropped. That didn't sit very well with former ABSF Executive Director Ned Zuelsdorff, who began asking for a separate parallel classic trail. He was, as you might guess, met with considerable opposition, but, fortunately found two like minded supporters, caught his vision.

The first, was one of our own, fellow Birchlegger, David G. Nelson, who had thirty years experience in the woods with Topo Maps, compass, and eventually GPS, as a Forester. He was joined by today's recipient, and these three, quickly became like the Three Amigos, spending countless hours in the woods. They used Topo Maps, etc., flagging, and reflagging 3-4 times, in their efforts to get it perfect, for what would be the first 9km section of what would be three sections of the classic trail, over a period of three years, to get the classic trail flagged and built from the start to County road OO. I should add that Ned did this in his spare time, apart from his job as ABSF executive director.

None of these three were paid for their countless hours of very hard flagging and design work!
Their work done, before the loggers could come in to remove the trees, the stump removal crew to do their job, the excavators to do the bulldozer work, and finally many hours of rock picking, final discing and grading to have a trail suitable for skiing. All three of them are truly perfectionists!

For his efforts, David G. Nelson, who acted as the "Classic Trail Evangelist", in his fervor to get the classic trail done to OO, and his further trail design way past that, was awarded the Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award in 2012, two years before his passing. I want to contrast David to today's recipient, the "Silent behind the scenes partner".

A number of people that attended Davids Hayward memorial service are in the audience today.
They can attest that among Davids trophies was his Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award, and he was so proud of his 31 Birkies that his truck license plate was "31 Birkie".

Today's recipient told me a story at that memorial service that gives a snapshot of the efforts these two volunteers put into their classic trail flagging design work. It was on the 3rd section of the trail on a hot spring day, the mosquitoes were attacking, Dave and today's recipient were soaked with sweat, worse, covered with ticks, and even worse, out of water, deep in the woods about a mile north of OO, one looked at the other and said, "who is going to carry who to OO?!

It's been 6 years since David Nelson received this award, and today it's his "silent partners" turn.
On behalf of the Birchleggings Club Board of Directors, it's my honor to announce the recipient of the 2018 Tony Wise Birkie Spirit Award as Jack Moin!"

The Birchleggings Club Alpha Roster, Demographics, and Rank Roster have been updated! See Birchleggers List menu item on the left or go to this link

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Photographs from the 2018 Birkie and Lists Updated!

Photos from the 2018 Birkie have been posted at this link The following lists have also been updated. Birchleggings Club Members; 20, 30, and 40 Year Awards; and Birchleggers in Memoriam. See Birchleggers List menu item from the left or go to this link

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