Olympic Festival planned for Wallace Park on Saturday | Sprint ski racing, spectating, nordic camraderie

Saturday – Meet at Powell’s at 9 AM again!

Well, folks, if you missed out on today’s stunning second ever Stumptown Birkebeiner, you will not want to miss out on tomorrow’s. Because we’re taking it up a notch. Oh yeah. And we need you there to keep the nordic flag flying proud.

Norway was represented.

Norway was represented.

Now that we know that the number of people in Portland who actually think it’s pretty darn cool to ski on snow-covered city streets is above single digits (I neglected to get a count today – but we’re calling that turnout an official CROWD), we’re going to work this snow in Portland thing for all we can. The snow gods are for the moment smiling on our project, and have even promised to send more of the white stuff tonight. So are you ready for tomorrow? Here’s what we’ve got lined up…

First, to get the formalities out of the way, yes indeed, the Stumptown Birkebeiner is once again ON for Saturday, Feb 8 at 9 AM at Powell’s. Ta da.

So it’s an all new day 2 just for you. But in addition to the fun tour through NW similar to what we did today, Saturday is also going to have some real bona fide sprint ski racing right here in Portland, Ore-gone. Because it’s the Olympics, people. And let’s things going here.

Starting at Powell’s, we’ll make our way to Wallace Park in NW Portland (Raleigh and 25th). If you want to skip the intro, you could optionally just go directly to Wallace Park to meet us. But because we want to start this new Portland tradition of “when it snows, meet at Powell’s”, we’ll still have a crew there at 9 AM to pick up folks. Depending on how much snow we get tonight, it could be a little dirtier getting through the Pearl tomorrow. But on the other side of 405, the snow is good.

Meanwhile, over at Wallace Park, we’ll have a sprint course set up on that nasty hill on Raleigh from 25th to 27th or 28th or so, and looping back. If you’re familiar with sprint racing, that’s what we’re after. Skiers of all abilities are welcome to participate. As it so happens, we have a bevy of elite skiers in our midst (you saw of them out there today), and these nordic machines are preparing to put their visors down and show Portland just how exciting fast ski racing can be up close. With the real Olympics kicking off imminently, come celebrate our precious and climate-challenged sport (which, as I don’t need to remind YOU – is the very best one there is) with a community gathering of the nordic tribe. Bring cow bells, your Scandinavian heritage clothing items, flags – you name it. We’re turning this into a neighborhood nordic block party. And it is going to be simply awesome.

So that’s where we are. If you would like to contribute to our swashbuckling program of activities, we do need a few things to keep the troops happy. Namely food, drinks, etc. If that is your department, and you think you could bring a few treats along to share – well, we won’t stop you. The “plan” is still evolving here. But if you have any great ideas in that department email me with suggestions. We may have a power outlet we could plug stuff into for hot drinks etc. A big pot of veggie chili? Hmmmm….

There may be some additional info published later today, such as a course map. But this is most of what you need to know. Tomorrow. Stumptown Birkebeiner Olympic Festival. You. Skis. Sprint racing in Wallace Park. Maybe some hot food. Any questions?

Note that this event (not unlike cyclocross) is a lot fun to spectate. Even if you don’t plan to race, come stand on the hill and watch people suffer as they try to sprint up it!

LET’S GET IT DONE FOLKS!!!! Or as the US Ski Team’s Simi Hamilton has been known to say to himself while V2-ing up some endless climb: “HARDEN THE [REDACTED] UP!!”

Go Norway! Go Sweden! GO USA!!!

Saturday Schedule

9:00 AM – Meet at Powell’s City of Books (NW 11th and Couch)

Ski to Wallace Park

9:45 AM – Stumptown Birkebeiner Olympic Festival at Wallace Park (NW Raleigh and 25th)
* Sprint racing
* Nordic cheer
* Food (we hope)

Things you can do to make day 2 amazing:
* Be there
* Spread the word on Facebook or Twitter
* Bring Scandinavian flags on poles to wave
* Wear outrageous ski suits and lycra

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