Norway’s last major ski race of the season, Skarverennet in the mountains above Geilo, sold out like normal this year, with 12,220 skiers taking part on Saturday. The traditional late-season race thus bucked the trend facing other races, which have seen attendance decline.
Not even Norway’s famed Birkebeiner sold out this year, but all the start numbers for Skarverennet were snapped up in a matter of minutes. The number of 12,220 places is linked to the postal code 1220 for Geilo.
Ski star Therese Johaug was the fastest woman racer, winning Skarverennet for the eighth time. Toni Livers of Switzerland won the men’s division, after a spurt to the finish line against Norway’s World Cup winner this year, Martin Johnsrud Sundby.
Other participants didn’t take the racing as seriously, opting instead to enjoy the 11th year in a row with sunshine and take long breaks on the mountain plateau.
“We’re not a race just for the competitive skiers who train systematically all year,” John-Ragnar Aarset, spokesman for Skarverennet, told newspaper Aftenposten. “We host the big party in addition.”