Birken ski festival
Birken - the ultimate XC-skiing experience
Experience the joy of skiing in the wild nature of the norwegian mountains. Incredible course in the mountain lanscape that seems created for XC skiing. Finish at the olympic stadium in Lillehammer.
An unforgetable experience.
Competitors from all over the world join our races and create an amazing athmosphere.
We offer classic 54 K, skate 54 K, Classic 27 K and skate 27 K. Look at our programme and sign up.
Lillehammer and Rena are easy to reach from Oslo Airport, approx. 2 hours by train.
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 backpack of 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.