David Norris was named Alaska Athlete of the Week after pulling off a remarkable victory at the American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin on Saturday.

The Fairbanks native won the largest and most prestigious cross-country ski marathon in North America in daring fashion, by attempting a solo breakaway just three kilometers into the 50K race.

His gamble paid off, and the former APU and U.S. Ski Team member skied the final 47 kilometers by himself. Norris crossed the finish line in downtown Hayward in a time of 2:05:39.93. Gerard Agnellet of France followed in 2:08:00.04.

Known for its hilly course and festive crowds, “The Birkie” attracts thousands of racers every year, including a large elite international contingent.

Norris, the 2016 Birkie champion, lost the 2022 race in a sprint finish by a ski-length to Agnellet. He called this year’s victory one of the most memorable wins of his career.

The Alaska Athlete of the Week is selected by a panel each Monday.

Have a candidate in mind? Email us your nomination: info@alaskasportshall.org.

Also receiving votes: Michael Bullion/ Isaiah Saville, Lyida Jacoby, Nick Olstad/Tyler Aklestad, Alissa Pili, Buddy Streeper, West High Ski Team

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