By Teemu Virtanen
Justyna Kowalczyk, Team Trentino Robinson Trainer, had a perfect day on Saturday and she won Birkebeinerrent for the third consecutive year, which is an extraordinary feat but not the only one in the history of the race.
Anita Moen Guidon from Norway won Birken four times in a row from 1998 to 2001, Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen from Norway won from 2006 to 2009 (three times, the race was canceled in 2007), and Seraina Boner, Team Jobstation Rossignol, was the fastest lady three times in a row from 2011 to 2013, and again in 2016.
In the men’s race, Erling Jevne from Norway managed to win seven times, six of those victories were back-to-back from 1996 to 2001. Both Anders Aukland, Team Ragde Eiendom, and Stanislav Rezac, Slavia Pojistovna Team, have four wins under their belt but not in consecutive years. Both of them participated in the race on Saturday without much success as the former was 20th and the latter 22nd. Oddmund Jensen from Norway has five wins in Birken, the last one in 1965.
In addition to the skiers above, three other Norwegian athletes have managed to get three victories in the race but not consecutively; Per Knut Aaland (last victory in 1991), Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (last one in 2003) and Marther Flugstad (last one in 2002).