‘If I can do it, you can do it!’ Hayward woman inspires through Birkebeiner vlogs

Meet one Hayward mother who is inspiring others through social media.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 12:12 PM CST
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HAYWARD, WI. (Northern News Now) - From workouts to practice trails, training for a cross-country ski race requires a routine.

That’s true for seasoned athletes and eager amateurs.

For Bethany Petersen, a Hayward mom of two, that routine includes documenting her journey.

“Last year I was 39, so it was my first race on skis, so I was just going to show people, ‘If I can do it, you can do it, and just the average mom can do it, you guys can too it, too,’” Petersen said.

Petersen skied the 29 kilometer Kortelopet for the first time in 2022 and created weekly vlogs for people to follow along her training regimen.

She and her family volunteered for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation for years, and Petersen wanted to try the full-distance race for herself.

“When you see those really dedicated athletes on the trails you think, ‘Oh my goodness, I could never do that,’” she said. “But when you see the regular person going by and you get so many different skiers of different ages, it just really is inspiring and it makes me feel like I could do it, so I just wanted to give that to everybody else that, ‘You should just try it. It’s awesome.’”

This year, Petersen partnered with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation to create videos of how she practices and prepares for the full-distance race, which is 50 kilometers.

She documents what she is seeing, thinking, and feeling to show you that anyone can catch Birkie Fever.

“Even though I’m terrified of doing 50 kilometers on skate skis, it will probably take me so long to finish, but I don’t care,” Petersen said. “I just want to finish and say I did it.”

Petersen and her husband own several businesses in Hayward, including Beau Petersen Photography, Wisconsin Surf, and Wisconsin Sauna.

Click here to view Petersen’s training videos.

The 2023 American Birkebeiner is Saturday.

You can find race results on the Birkie’s website.