One of the world’s oldest and most intriguing endurance events took place in Norway on 16th March.


Much like a marathon the Birkebeinerrennet originates from a historic journey - but rather than a run from Marathon to Athens, the Birkebeinerrennet replicates a cross country ski from Osterdalen to Trondheim.


The Birkebeinerrennet also matches the marathon for its heroism, with the original “participants” in 1206 carrying baby Prince Haakon Haakonson to safety in Trondheim from where he would later become king of Norway. 


The modern day event begins in Rena and finishes near Lillehammer, with little more than a gruelling 54km cross country ski over, down and around mountainous terrain in often treacherous conditions separating the two towns.




To ensure this isn’t too easy, all participants are required to carry a backpack of at least 3.5kg in weight to signify the carrying of the baby prince.


This year’s event was won by Anders Aukland of Norway in a time of 2.42.38, his fourth Birkebeinerrennet victory. The women’s event was taken out for the third consecutive time by Seraina Boner of Switzerland in 3.09.12.


One of the world’s most challenging events will be back in one of the world’s most beautiful countries next year, so start training now. You never know when you’ll be called upon to rescue a baby prince. 




16th March 2013

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