Sporty college students from Norway’s two leading business schools were competing with each other this weekend in a long-distance relay race over the mountains between Bergen and Oslo. The route roughly follows the NSB train line called Bergensbane, hence the race name BergeNSBaneløpet.
It combines running and cycling in 110 various laps, and while the train ride takes around seven hours, the students are using three days with arrival due in Oslo’s Frogner Park on Sunday.
The race was arranged for the first time in 1973, the year after students at Norges Handelshøyskole (NHH) were divided over the issue of whether Norway should join the European Union. The current head of TV2, Alf Hildrum, was among the students at the time who decided that instead of fighting with each other, they should instead compete against students at rival school Handelshøyskolen BI. The race is now held every other year, and Hildrum told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) this week that he’s pleased it’s survived and is more popular than ever.
Among students who’ve run the race are not only Hildrum but Helge Lund, now chief executive of Statoil, and Amund Djuve, editor-in-chief of DN. The social aspects are an important part of the relay, with overnight stops in Granvin and Nesbyen along the way.