Caitlin Gregg and David Norris made it an American sweep at the 2016 Slumberland American Birkebeiner 51k skate race today. This makes it Gregg's fourth Birkie win, having also won in 2011 (where she broke the Women’s 50K Skate course record and took first place with a winning time of 2:15:26.0), 2013 and 2014 (she did not compete in 2015 because she was at the 2015 World Championships). Gregg is the only racer, male or female, to have ever won four Birkies.
Gregg raced second place finisher Aurelie Dabudyk of France down the streets of Hayward, Wisconsin, finishing in 2:22:44.5, winning by just 5.1 seconds. American Eirka Flowers was third in 2:24:35.7.
The top Michigan women were Kaitlyn Patterson, finishing 18th overall in 2:40:24.9 and Eric O'Hearn, 27th in 2:43:47.9.
Clip of the lead women on the course and the women's Birkie finish in Hayward, Wisconson.
David Norris had tough competition to the finish line. Finishing in 2:05:35.4, he was only 1.1 seconds ahead of France's Ivan Perrillat Boiteux, who was only 0.3 seconds ahead of countryman Benoit Chauvet.
The top 51k Michigan skater was Alex Vanias in 25th in 2:14:09.0, followed immediately by Thomas Bye in 2:15:00.1.
In the 54k Classic event, Welly Ramsey took the win by over 12 minutes in 2:48:59.9. Second and third were Nick Power and Murray Carter in 3:01:07.1 and 3:01:09.2.
Top Michigan classic skier was Denny Paull in 12th in 3:11:53.7. Paull used Silver Klister and says "The skis were good the second half."
Denny Paul after his 12th place Classic finish: "I think my bag is the white one."