Working With Norwegians

Birkebeinerrennet Norwegian Ski Race

Birkebeinerrennet is one of the most popular ski races in Norway, attracting thousands of skiers from around the world every year. The race takes place annually between Rena and Lillehammer, covering a distance of 54 kilometers. Here is everything you need to know about Birkebeinerrennet.

History of Birkebeinerrennet

Birkebeinerrennet is named after the Birkebeiner warriors who saved the life of the infant Prince Haakon Haakonsson during the Norwegian civil war in 1206. According to legend, the Birkebeiner warriors carried the infant on skis through the treacherous mountains to safety. The race was first organized in 1932 and has since become one of the most popular ski races in Norway.

The Race Course

The Birkebeinerrennet race course starts in Rena, a small town in eastern Norway, and ends in Lillehammer, a popular ski destination. The course covers a distance of 54 kilometers and includes both uphill and downhill sections. The highest point on the course is 894 meters above sea level, while the lowest point is 196 meters above sea level.

The race is divided into different categories, including Elite Men, Elite Women, and recreational skiers. Recreational skiers can choose to complete the entire 54-kilometer course or participate in shorter distances, such as the 28-kilometer or 42-kilometer races.

Preparation for Birkebeinerrennet

Preparing for Birkebeinerrennet requires months of training and preparation. Skiers must be physically fit and have experience skiing in a variety of conditions, including uphill and downhill sections. It is important to have proper ski equipment, including skis, boots, poles, and clothing, that is appropriate for the weather conditions on race day.

In addition, skiers must ensure that they have proper nutrition and hydration throughout the race. It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to provide energy for the race.

The Race Day Experience

On race day, skiers gather in Rena to begin the race. The atmosphere is festive and exciting, with skiers from around the world coming together to participate in the race. The course is lined with spectators cheering on the skiers, adding to the excitement of the event.

The race is a test of endurance and skill, with skiers pushing themselves to the limit to complete the course. The final stretch of the race takes skiers through the streets of Lillehammer, with the finish line located in the town center. Skiers are greeted with cheers and applause as they cross the finish line, marking the end of their journey.


Birkebeinerrennet is a legendary ski race that attracts skiers from around the world. The race is a test of endurance and skill, requiring months of preparation and training. The course covers a distance of 54 kilometers and includes both uphill and downhill sections, providing a challenging and rewarding experience for skiers. Whether you are an elite athlete or a recreational skier, Birkebeinerrennet is an unforgettable experience that celebrates Norway’s rich skiing heritage.