Best photos from the American Birkebeiner

This is the surge of sporting passion that fills the racing ranks of the 41st annual American Birkebeiner (known as the Birkie), and that makes a frigid morning warm with good cheer and anticipation. It may be two degrees. There may be a headwind. And the finish line might be more than 30 miles away, on Main Street in Hayward, Wisconsin. But these racers are raring to go. - Tracey Minkin

Caitlin Gregg, of Minneapolis, Minn., crosses the finish line at the American Birkebeiner, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in the women's skate division. Gregg had a time of 2:40:57.4. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)

Natalja Naryshkina, of Cable, Wis., skates in the American Birkebeiner, in the the 54k Birkie Classic race, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Naryshkina finished with a time of 3:26:00.6. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)

Unidentified skier skates in the American Birkebeiner, the 54k Birkie Classic race, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.

Unidentified skier skates in the American Birkebeiner, the 54k Birkie Classic race, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (Photo by Tracey Minkin

Tom Reichelt, right, of Germany, smiles after winning the men's skate division at the American Birkebeiner, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Reichelt had a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 29.9 second

Tom Reichelt, right, of Germany, smiles after winning the men's skate division at the American Birkebeiner, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Reichelt had a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 29.9 second. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)

Competitors start the American Birkebeiner ski race in Cable, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. The race covers 50 kilometers to Hayward, Wis. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)

Tom Reichelt, of Oberwiesenthal, Germany, crosses the finish line of the American Birkebeiner, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Reichelt had a time of 2:14:29.9. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)

Natalja Naryshkina, of Cable, Wis., is helped after crossing the finish line at the American Birkebeiner, in the the 54k Birkie Classic race, in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Naryshkina finished with a time of 3:26:00.6. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)

Santiago Ocariz, left, of Ely, Minn., crosses the finish line of the American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Ocariz won the 54-kilometer Birkie Classic with a time of 3 hours, 1 minute, 0.8 seconds. (AP Photo/Paul M. Walsh)