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Birkebeiner “Founder” Killed In Bike Accident

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

One of the founding members of the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Race in Hayward has died due to injuries sustained during a bicycle accident last Friday. David Landgraf, 62, of Bloomer, WI died Monday in Duluth, according to the Associated Press.

A Sawyer County sheriff’s report says the 24-year-old woman that hit Landgraf had turned to talk to her children and when she turned back, she saw the biker, swerved to avoid him, but struck him.

Landgraf was one of 35 people to ski in the first Birkebeiner in 1973. He also was one of only three to ski in every race. According to The Cross Country Skier, during the 2011 race he finished with a time of 2 hours and 43 minutes which was good for 2nd in his age group.

Landgraf was a retired Bloomer High School physical education teacher and gave Nordic skiing lessons for over four decades.

The term “founder” was given to a group of 10 elite skiers that each ran in the first 10 Birke races by the events creator Tony Wise.

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