Birkebeiner lost on lower participation

The numbers of skiers taking part in last weekend’s Birkebeiner ski race over the mountains of southeastern Norway were down by more than 6,000 from the records reported a few years ago. That’s likely to lead to financial losses for the organizers. “I’ll be crunching the numbers over the Easter holidays, but it’s correct that […]

Crown Prince didn’t do as well in ‘Birkebeiner’ this year

Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon didn’t do nearly as well in this year’s Birkebeiner race over the mountains from Østerdalen to Gudbrandsdalen. He did beat his other royal rival, though, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, while a Norwegian won the race itself. John Kristian Dahl, who’d been favoured to win, was thrilled with his first Birkebeiner […]

Skiers from 44 countries raced in Birkebeiner

Total participation has declined, but organizers of Norway’s annual Birkebeiner ski race were setting a record for international representation this year. The number of Swedes competing has doubled. Around 13,000 skiers were starting the upcoming Easter holidays by skiing the Birkebeiner’s 54-kilometer course, og at least half of it, over the mountains from Rena in […]

New ‘Birkebeinerne’ film sold for distribution in the US

Distribution rights for a new Norwegian film about the legendary soldiers and skiers who saved the monarchy in the 1200 have been sold to Magnolia Pictures of the US. That means the film will be shown in American cinemas next year, after its debut in Norway in early February. Called Birkebeinerne in Norwegian, because of the birch […]

Speed limit sought for ‘Birken’ racers

The upcoming summertime cycling version of the classic Norwegian Birkebeiner race, also known simply as “Birken,” is raising some unusual complaints this year from those living and vacationing along the race route. They think the racers are cycling too fast. Norwegians owning holiday cabins (hytter) in the popular Sjusjøen area, through which the race route passes, are the […]

Celebrities shone as ‘birkebeiners’

Crown Prince Haakon was among the locally well-known Norwegians to complete the tough Birkebeiner ski race over the weekend, along with former Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and violinist Arve Tellefsen. The crown prince, age 41, skied the 54-kilometer (32-mile) course in what sports commentators called an “impressive” three hours, 36 minutes and 12 seconds. […]

Birkebeiner film races to a finish

Around 13,000 avid skiers were crossing the mountains of eastern Norway over the weekend in the annual Birkebeiner ski race, inspired by the original fast-skiing “Birkebeiner” insurgents of the 12th and 13th centuries. Now the latter are about to be immortalized in a new film based on their legendary rescue of an infant destined to become King Håkon […]

Birkebeiner race still not sold out

There’s been a marked decline in the number of skiers signing up quickly to compete in this year’s traditional Birkebeiner race over the mountains of eastern Norway. Race organizers, however, are confident it eventually will sell out, just slower than it has in recent years. Eager skiers earlier have snapped up all 17,000 spots in the […]

Autumn arrives in all its colorful glory

PHOTO FEATURE: After one of the warmest summers on record, autumn is arriving around the country in spectacular fashion. Fall colors are breaking out all over, just in time for thousands of school children and their families to head off for mountain hikes during their one-week annual høstferie (autumn holidays). Journalist and photographer Marie Peyre just went […]

Ticket sales slip for Birkebeiner

Norway’s legendary annual Birkebeiner ski race over the mountains may be losing some of its allure. Two months after tickets for next year’s race went on sale, many are still available, a sharp contrast to how it sold out within minutes in earlier years. In 2011, record-strong demand led to all of the 54-kilometer race’s […]