FasterSkier contributor JoJo Baldus takes us through his whirlwind of Wordloppet experiences this past winter, sharing insider details only someone who actually raced each marathon event could understand.
Almost all of the participants in the Birkebeiner, one of the largest ski marathons in the world, had reached the start in Rena on Saturday when race organizers were forced to cancel the race due to wind gusts that reached 50 miles per hour in the mountains. Since then, the decision has caused nothing but grief as many in Norway are fiercely critical of the cancellation.
You might think that Norway's 54k Birkebeiner, one of the most famous and tradition-laden marathons in the world, has always been popular. But despite being situated in a ski-crazy country, the 17,000-entrant cap was only reached in the last decade, and demand is growing more every year. Here's how the race got so popular, and how it's continuing to grow as an event despite the cap.