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American Birkebeiner to host Nordic Walking Clinic

Sat, Jul  5, 2008 - By Cherie Morgan

HAYWARD, Wis., June 26, 2008 – Fitness enthusiasts eager to turn their fitness walk into a total body workout are invited to attend a Nordic Walking Clinic being held on Saturday, July 12, 2008, in Seeley, Wis. The American Birkebeiner is partnering with a local group of active women known as Ski and Tea, and Hoigaard’s to host the clinic at the “OO” Birkie Trail Head.

The Clinic will be presented by the “Queen of Nordic Walking,” Linda Lemke from Hoigaard’s in the Twin Cities. Linda has been an outdoor enthusiast her entire life.

“We are very excited that Linda will be presenting this clinic for us and introducing people to Nordic Walking,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “Currently Linda is the Coordinator for Hoigaard’s Outdoor Women's Program. She has been a fitness walker for 24 years and added Nordic Walking poles to her walk in 2004. As a LEKI Nordic Walking Trainer she teaches classes and leads walks all over the Twin Cities Area. She has been featured in articles in the Star Tribune, Good Age, MN Trails and most recently appeared on CBS Early Morning Show in New York.”

“We request that those interested in attending the clinic contact the Birkie Office at birkie@birkie.com or 715/634-5025 to register, Zuelsdorff said. “There is a $5 fee for the Clinic to help cover the cost of post-Clinic refreshments at Mooselips Café in Seeley. Loaner poles will be available for $5. All clinic participants will receive a $5 discount coupon for the Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek. Please wear comfortable clothing and good walking shoes and come ready to have a good time.”

Zuelsdorff said Nordic Walking incorporates the upper body into your walk making it a complete body workout while reducing stress on your joints. The motions of Nordic Walking are similar to cross country skiing. Like cross country skiing it provides an efficient aerobic workout and is an easy way to get a great workout no matter what your age, sex or physical condition.

"The fitness benefits of Nordic Walking are numerous," says Juli Lynch co-founder of Ski and Tea and endurance athlete. "Nordic Walking involves applying pressure to the poles creating resistance against the ground. The increased muscle involvement over ordinary walking provides greater overall strength and endurance of the core muscles and upper body. It also provides significant increases in participant’s heart rate at a given pace, greater ease in climbing hills with better balance and stability and less strain on hip, knee and ankle joints. Nordic Walking burns more calories than ordinary walking, further helping to reduce and control weight."

“The numerous fitness benefits of Nordic Walking, the gain in popularity across the United States and the connection to cross country skiing made it an easy decision to add the 21K Nordic Walk to the 2008 American Birkebeiner Trail Run, Relay and Trek,” said Zuelsdorff. “We see Nordic Walking as an up and coming sport sweeping the nation and believe the American Birkebeiner Trail is the perfect location for a Nordic Walking event.”

The American Birkebeiner Trail Run and Trek will take place on Saturday, September 20, 2008, and will include a 26.2 mile Marathon Relay, individual 13.1 Half Marathon, 5K Fun Run/Walk and the 21K Birkie Trek non-competitive Nordic Walk.

For more information on the Nordic Walking Clinic or the Birkie Trail Run, Relay and Trek events, log on to http://www.birkie.com or call 715/634-5025.