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Men's podium for the 2019 American Birkebeiner (L to R Brian Gregg, Maifeld-Carucci, Matt Liebsch). Photo James Netz

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Down to 3 in the finishing stretch of the Birkie on Main St. in Hayward (Photo James Netz)

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Patterson leading a group during the classic portion of Saturday's 15k skiathlon at World Championships (Photo John Lazenby)

GRP's Akeo Maifeld-Carucci Wins American Birkebeiner; Martin and Patterson at World Championships

Last Updated: 25.Feb.2019

It was a big weekend for the Green Racing Project skiers, as Akeo Maifeld-Carucci won his first American Birkebeiner (know colloquially as the Birkie). It also marked the first time that a Green Racing Project athlete has won the Birkie, a 52k freestyle marathon through the woods of Northern Wisconsin. The race has the largest field in North America, and certainly the most prestigious marathon on the continent every year. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world Caitlin Patterson and Adam Martin made their World Championship debuts in Seefeld, Austria.

American Birkie

This year, skiers faced slow conditions and new snow on the 52k trek from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin. Maifeld-Carucci was skiing in the main pack of approximately 10 skiers until the "halfway" point at OO, with 28k remaining. At that point, Brian Gregg made a breakaway, and Maifeld-Carucci and Matt Liebsch chased him down. From that point, it was a pack of three skiers until the finish line. With the finishing line in sight, Maifeld-Carucci made his sprint for the line and took the win by 0.9 seconds over Gregg in second and Liebsch in third. As the overall winner and first American finisher, Maifeld-Carucci wins $10,000 as well as a mattress from Slumberland Furniture, one of the main event sponsors. Full results from the Birkie are here. Also look for GRP alums Bryan Cook, Hannah Dreissigacker, and Nils Koons, as well as rowing camp director Troy Howell.

World Championships

In Seefeld, Austria, the nordic World Championships kicked off on February 21st with a freestyle sprint. GRP skiers competed in their first race on Saturday, in the 15k and 30k mass start skiathlon. In a skiathlon, skiers start with classic, then halfway through the race switch over to skate skis. Caitlin Patterson, on the heels of a cold, took 34th in the women's 15k skiathlon. Patterson was a 2018 Olympian in Pyeongchang, but this race marked her World Championships debut. On the men's side, Adam Martin, competing in his first World Championships race, finished 54th in the 30k skiathlon. Full results from Seefeld are available here. 

Ben Lustgarten is expected to race for the US in the 15k classic individual start on February 27th. The viewing schedule for the remaining events at World Championships is below:


February 27: 15km classic, men, 8:00am
February 28: 4x5km relay, women, 7:00am
March 1: 4x10km relay, men, 7:15am
March 2: 30km skate mass start, women, 6:15am
March 3: 50km skate mass start, men, 7:00am