HAYWARD, Wis. (AP) -- The spring-like weather that is producing rain and temperatures in the 50s in northern Wisconsin has forced organizers of North America's largest cross-country ski event to shorten Saturday's race.
It's the second time in the past three years the American Birkebeiner is being shortened because of melting snow or a lack of snow.
Spokeswoman Leslie Hamp said the 28th annual race will be 46.5 kilometers, or 28.8 miles, instead of the scheduled 51 kilometers, or 31.6 miles.
She says the race is still expected to attract 6,300 skiers.
Despite the forecast that calls for daytime temperatures in the 40s into Saturday, Hamp says everything is go for the race, thanks to the 7 to 10 inches of snow that fell last week.
Hamp expects workers will begin hauling snow from the woods Thursday to patch problems on the trail.
No changes were made in the race last year, but in 1998, warm weather forced it to be shortened to 25 kilometers, the shortest length in the event's history.
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