The popular Norwegian ski marathon, Birkebeinerrennet, was sold out in a record time of 18 minutes after the registration went online last week. The organizers had reserved a total of 16,000 start bibs and all of them were snapped up in just 18 minutes. The Birkebeinerrennet will take place on 19th March 2011. Never before has the race has been sold out so fast. The sharp increase in interest is even more dramatic looking back when it took three weeks to sell the start bibs 12 months ago!
The Birkebeinerrennet starts in Rena and ends in Lillehammer, covering a distance of 54 km. The number of participants is limited to 16,000 and it is usually fully subscribed. The race has been held since 1932 and commemorates a trip made by the Birkebeiner loyalists to save the heir to the Norwegian throne, Håkon Håkonsson, in 1206. All participants carry a backpack weighing at least 3.5 kg, symbolizing the weight of the then one-year old heir.