HAYWARD, Wis. | At least nine current and former North Iowans were among the 13,500 skiers who participated in the American Birkebeiner’s cross country skiing races on Feb. 22-23.
The entrants included former Clear Lake and Mason City resident Jennifer Yohn Juhlin in the 50-kilometer skate race. Yohn Julin was just five months removed from the birth of her son Jett, by Cesarean.
“Have a little faith,” she told her husband Todd, who finished 2 minutes ahead of her at 4 hours, 14 minutes.
Evan Peterson, formerly with Wayne’s Ski & Cycle staff, finished third in his age group in the 25k skate at 1:43. He was followed by Jay Yunek (2:09) and Mason City's Andy Johnson, skiing in his first Korte (2:13).
Scott Moorman, Mason City, improved on his 2018 time in the Korte by 10 minutes (3:03).
“My goal is always to better my previous time, and with a beautiful Northwoods day, how could I not?" said Moorman.
Ralph Bovard, formerly of Mason City and now in Minneapolis, did the unthinkable, skiing two of the races. He finished the 29k Korte in 1:49 and followed that the next day with a 4:02 in the classic 50k.
Robert Polking (3:49) and Joel Yunek (3:43), both of Mason City, completed their 18th skate ski races with eyes to the next two years to achieve a goal of 20 Birkies.
“Sharing the experience of something as difficult as the Birkie creates bonds and generates stories that can span a lifetime," said Polking. "The best part is when it's over and you can relax with friends and share their stories. They get better each year.”