Birkebeinerrennet is a cross country race in Norway, starting in Rena and finish in Lillehammer. The distance is 54 km with several hundred meters of height difference must be overcome. The course must be run in classic style, skating is not allowed. The race is traditionally conducted in March and is part of the Worldloppet series. The race was repeated part of the Marathon Cup and belongs since 2011 to the racing series Ski Classics. The barrel is very popular in Norway and the starting positions are therefore sold out in minutes. According to tradition, the Birkebeiner have brought the king's son Håkon Håkonsson on this route to safety in 1204.
The start is at Tingstadjordet about 3 km from the center of Rena in 280 m above sea level. After 9 kilometers Skramstadsætra (820 m.NN. ) is reached, then with a slight slope Dambua (760 m.NN. ), after 20 km Raufjellet (880 m.NN. ) and after 34 km the highest point Midtfjellet with 910 m. NN. About Sjusjøen (41 km, 880 m.NN. ) the ski runs leads through to the finish in Lillehammer (54 km, 490 m.NN. ).
20 km of the total 54 km lead through mountain area above the tree line with open spaces. The route is very exposed to wind and weather, so a backpack must be carried mandatory. The backpack must be worn on the back and must wind protective clothing, food and drink include. The weight of the backpack should be at least 3.5 kilos at the finish in Lillehammer. Random checks are carried out in the target.
2007 the race had to be canceled for the first time in the 70 -year history. At the highest point of the track blew a strong gale, so that the safety of the participants was no longer guaranteed. 2014, the race was also canceled due to high winds after it was first shifted by one hour. On the Raufjell up to 20 m / s wind had been measured and up to 25 m / s were predicted, so that the race organizers decided to cancel.
For many participants, a goal is to achieve the so-called " Remember ". This award is given to those students who fall below a maximum time. The calculation of the maximum time, the average time of the fastest of the five of each class is taken and increased by 25%.
In addition to the cross-country event, the 91 km long mountain bike race Birkebeinerrittet and in September of the 22 km long cross-country running Birkebeinerløpet is organized on a similar route in August.