Birkebeinerrennet is the worlds largest ski race, and during the Birken Ski Festival aproximately 30.000 skiers participate in one of our events - Birkebeinerrennet, FredagsBirken ski on Friday - NEWS 2017: introducing free technique , Stafett Birken (relay), HalvBirken ski, UngdomsBirken ski (youth), BarneBirken ski (children) and Inga Låmi (ladies).
In 1932 the very first Birkebeinerrenn took place, with 155 male participants. Much has changed since then, but one important thing remains, although with lesser weight - all participants in our race must carry a backback weighing 3,5 kg throughout the race.
The tradition of all participants carrying a backpack was established to symbolise the original Birkebeinere that saved the infant Norwegian king from the rivaling fraction, the Baglers.
The name Birkebeinere was given by the Baglers, and originally intended to be offensive - referring to their leggings of birch bark, indicating that they were poor and incapable. They proved the Baglers wrong, and today the name carries a sence of pride, strength and endurance - something thousands of people, participating in the historical race every year, keep striving for.
Birkebeinerrennet is 54km long, starting at Tingstadjordet, 3km west of Rena, and finishing at Birkebeineren ski stadium (490metres above sea level), in Lillehammer.
The track takes you 9km through forrest terrain up to Skramstadsetra (640m.a.s.l), where the first drink station is situated. You continue to the first mountain top at Dølfjellet (820m.a.s.l), and then downhill for 17km until you reach Dambua (760 m.a.s.l).
From here the track climbes west crossing Raudfjellet(880 m.a.s.l) after 20km. You continue pass Nysætra in forrest terrain and reach Kvarstaddammen (660m.a.s.l) after 27km.
From Kvarstaddammen the track takes you through the forrest up to Midtfjellet (910 m.a.s.l) where you keep going west for 41km through the open mountain terrain to Sjusjøen (880 m.a.s.l). Going downhill from Sjusjøen, you enter the Birkebeineren Ski stadium, where the finish line is, at 490 m.a.s.l.
Please read the race rules, and be sure to pack your backpack with the mandatory items.
54 km 490 moh
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