Saturday, March 19, it’s time for Birkebeinerrennet and its heroic history. The hilly 54km Visma Ski Classics race is Season XII’s eleventh stage, fourth Grand Classics event, and takes place in Rena-Lillehammer, Norway.
Birkebeinerrennet has a long history, and its origin stems from a heroic tale of courage and adventure. The story goes back to the harsh times of the 13th century when two fearless soldiers, birkebeiners, rescued a young prince and skied over the mountain fighting against the wild nature around them.
This young prince, Haakon, later became the King. To honor him and his rescuers, all participants carry a 3.5kg backpack symbolizing the weight of the precious cargo that the birkebeiners had on their backs on their adventurous journey.
Birkebeinerrennet has one of the most challenging Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour courses. There is a long 20km climb to the mountaintop at Raudfjellet with only one relatively short downhill section at 13km. The second challenging uphill starts at 28km.
After 40km of “mountain skiing,” skiers reach Sjusjøen and start their descent to Lillehammer. During the last 14km, there is a 400-meter drop in elevation, and the finish is at the Olympic Stadium.
Don’t miss out on the event, available on Ski Classics Play. The men start at 7:45 CET and the women at 8:00 CET.
BIRKEBEINERRENNET – FACTS
- Location: Rena-Lillehammer, Norway
- Date: Saturday, March 19
- Start Time: Men 7:45 CET / Women 8:00 CET
- Distance: 54km Classic Technique
- Visma Ski Classics Climbs: Raudfjellet – 20km and Midttfjellet – 34km
- Highest Peak: 900m
- Total Climbing: 1.044m
- Active years: 83
- Website: Birkebeinerrennet
Birkebeinerrennet program, start lists, and live streaming on SC Play can be found here.
BIRKEBEINERRENNET – MAPS
Next up in the Visma Ski Classics is Birkebeinerrennet. The 54-kilometer classic race takes place in Norway on March 19, 2022.
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