The all times high participants in this year’s Birkebeinerrenn proves the renaissance of ski marathons.
15 000 people skied over the mountains from Rena to Lillehammer. That is a new record for the race. Birkebeinerrennet was sold out in 18 minutes in November. That too is a new record.
Seldom has so many prepared themselves this well to a race. Rollerskis before the snow fell. Then several hours of driving to enjoy a few kilometers of made snow. New skis. Zeroskis this year? Waxing. Which type of grip wax to choose? Counting kilometers. Some call it madness. Others making something out of life.
Feeling of succeeding
Everybody can define a goal and train to achieve it. Whether it’s completing Birken in 3.30 or it is to complete it at all. To accomplish a goal gives a feeling of succeeding it is hard to match on other arenas. Perhaps it is because the hard work against the goal becomes clearer by the exhausted body, by falling over the finish line. Perhaps it is because you fight alone against the pain, against the clock.
Norwegian flag on the hat
The rush after an interval a Tuesday night. Enjoying the training with the group on Sundays at 10. It simply has become hip to go kilometer by kilometer on skis, get tired and snotty and spoil some energy drink on the skiing suit. That’s why Norewegians travel to Sälen in Sweden early March to participate in Vasaloppet. That’s why four out of then in the Italian Marcialonga race are Norwegian.
End of season
The season is soon at its end, but it’s still possible to fight against friends and colleagues. The new N3 has become more famous, and this year it will be a real star’s meeting up at Norefjell, with Northug and Rezac among others. Skilled skiers will be present at Skarverennet too, a race from Finse to Ustaoset the 30th of April. After that, it’s time to let the skis rest. Until the rollerskis are tested during the summer.