Birkebeiner up yours!

14 Feb

I will not be attending that quintessential Norwegian event of flag waving and masochism, the Birkebeiner ski race. Suffering through a hilly 54 km isn’t really a problem. But doing that distance with 34 000 others, most of whom can’t ski, is.

I did my own Birkebeiner today. Shall we call it my Persobeiner? Did it on Sunday to get the necessary crowd effect. But in the 25km heart of my route, the Grenadertraseen trail between the Kikut and Løvlia lodges, I encountered no one going my way. Stands to figure, I took the lungbusting, hard way:

My Birkebeiner sneers at the Norwegian one’s less than manly dimensions. The official one is 54km. Mine was 66km. Mine was nasty, steep herring-boning everywhere. The one from Rena to Lillehammer is mostly all diagonal-going.

The route was Grinda – Kobberhaughhytta – Kikut – Løvlia – Sørkedalen Skole. Did it in 5:12. Shrink that down to “Birky” length and with my average speed I would do a 4:17. Of course in the real one I wouldn’t have to stop and hunt for free water like I did at Løvlia. Got one whiff of their less than lovely bathroom and decided to go waterless for the last 21km.

I normally would have just bought some bottled water but I had forgot my wallet. That also meant I rode ticketless on the bus and subway. Drama right to the end of the race 🙂

Trip details:

  • Wax: Swix Violet Special
  • Air temp: -1.5C max / -3C min
  • Style: Classic.
  • Distance: 66km
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