Source: "The Social Guidebook to Norway"

Today is "Birkebeinerløpet", perhaps the most famous running race in Norway.

The course is 21 km and takes you through various forest terrain.

It starts at Birkebeineren Skistadion and finishes at Håkons Hall in Lillehammer where the winter Olympics took place in 1994.

Birkebeinerløpet is part of the same "Birken" group of races on skis and bicycle.

It provides another great opportunity to show publicly that you are in good shape.

Like in every Birken competitions, your time and position is publicly available on the website's live and historical results ... for eternity!

You can check up anonymously any of your colleague's time.

Norwegians will train months in advances to manage a good time.

But they will pretend that they "did not train that much" 

But don't get fooled, they do secretly train quite a lot.

A little bit like Norwegians secretly work to appear more effective in front of their colleagues.

Norwegians will not brag about their performance to anyone, but everyone can check their time up, and if they manage to get a "merke".

And be sure that people will do. 

It is a subtle way of showing a certain social status in the Norwegian society. 

Friends and colleagues will look your time up and talk about it together.

When you come back to work on Monday, they may say things like: "Bra løpt på lørdag" or "Bra tid på Birken så jeg" or "Ja, det gikk bra i helgen så jeg"

I love this part of the culture where people have a subtle pressure from society to keep in shape.

Off course this does not apply for all Norwegians, some will be partying and not manage to wake up early enough to be in Lillehammer for the start of the race :)




Read more about our amazing Norwegian friends in Our Social Guidebooks to Norway 



By Julien S. Bourrelle

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