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Birkebeineren is a long-distance race held every year in Norway. In winter it is a crosscountry race, in autumn a bike race and crosscountry running race.
The route is 54 km long and starts in Rena, before it heads over the mountains to Lillehammer.
The first race was in 1932 to commemorate a trip made by two Birkebeinere in 1206. They went on skis over the mountain to save the heir of the norwegian throne; one year old Håkon Håkonssøn.
Everyone who participates in the race have to carry a backpack weighing at least 3,5 kg, which symbolices the little heir.
Written Sep 6, 2007