Italian Santus wins Birkenbeiner
Rebecca Dussault of Gunnison, Colo., defended her title in the women's race, also in record time.
Santus took 1 hour, 56 minutes, 58.6 seconds, topping former record-holder Mikhail Botwinov of Austria's 1:57:51.6 in 1997.
Dussault won with a time of 2:18.18.1. Austria's Gudrun Pflueger of Austria held the previous record of 2:19:45.5, also set in 1997.
The Birkie distance is 50 kilometers for freestyle skiers and 54 kilometers for classic skiers.
Organizers say more than 8,000 skiers registered for the event that's part of the Worldloppet, a circuit of 15 Nordic ski races held on four continents.
Last updated: 4:03 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012