HAYWARD, Wis. (AP) -- Organizers of the American Birkebeiner say trail conditions are ideal for a record number of participants in the 39th running of the cross-country ski race in northern Wisconsin.
Activities surrounding Saturday's race kick off Thursday in Hayward.
Birkebeiner spokeswoman Susan Kendrick says the snow is dry, there's a ton of it and the full race is on. The current base is between 3 and 6 inches of snow.
More than 9,400 skiers, a record field, are registered for the 50-kilometer Birkie and its support races, the 23K Kortelopet and the 12K Prince Haakon.
The Duluth News Tribune says Laurie Landgraf, the widow of Birkie founder David Landgraf of Bloomer, will light the race torch Thursday evening during opening ceremonies in Hayward.