The FIS rule on passing is as such:
A competitor who is overtaken must give way on the first demand except
in sprint competitions and in marked zones (see 340.1.4).
This applies in classical technique courses even when there are two tracks
and in free technique courses when the skier being overtaken may have to
restrict his skating action. When overtaking, competitors must not obstruct
The Birkie runs under FIS rules. But the question is who is going to enforce this? Also what about the racers that sit behind you and "draft" till late in the race when your dead and they past looking for some else to suck off of? Races like the Birkie and VasaLoppet it every person for themselves. You have to be on the line for the start, thats why everyone in every wave after the elite waves sprints to the start line. This is however is counter productive to the race. I mean the race is 51 k there should be plenty of time to find a good pace and position, but there are too many people in the race. You have to jump from the line cold, anyway that is possible, timing the start, ducking the rope as soon as it moves, and skating as soon as possible. You got to be moving when the finger starts to squeeze the trigger of the starters gun. Bam! Then the poles, skis, and bodies start flying. Pure carnage.
Poles are going to get steped on and the only thing that we can do is accept it. Save your money for new poles and baskets or put it toward a small local club, trail, and/or race. I think the $65 to $120 that people pay to race the birkie is more than enough money for the Birkie foundation. Also we don't have to do the Birkie. I'm holding out for a classic only Birkie that goes from Telemark to Hayward. But that will never happen.
Birkie Saturday I had a great ski at Korki and no stress.