Birkely from Porsanger in Finnmark are above average interested in cross country skiing. He has a history in anthropology, archaeology and sámi. 73-year-old also has a degree from Idrettshøgskolen.

He has therefore not avoided to get rekordjakten in the Norwegian langrennsmiljøet.

First had the Aukland brothers travelled 516 km in 31 hours.

Record was broken a few days later by Henrik Sollie. In 32 hours he went over 520 km of skiing.

Even if Birkely is impressed with today’s cross-country skiers, is the second in skihistorien who have done at least as much of an impression on him.

500 km in two days,

Nordenskiöldsloppet that goes from Jåhkåmåhke to Kvikkjokk in Sweden, is the world’s longest skirenn (external link)

the Race on the 220 km is thus not just something common påskeskirenn.

It was arranged for the first time in 1884. Paava-Lars Nilsson Tuorda from Jåhkåmåhke in Sweden won the race. The time ended at 21 hours and 22 minutes.

Birkely mean it happened before and after the race is equally as impressive.

– In addition to the actual race on the 220 km, had some of the participants walked over 10 miles to the starting point. After the race went the same distance home again, ” he says.

There was of course not prepared ski tracks. 30 cm of fresh snow had properly made klabbeføre. Treskiene they went on weighed a few kilograms each.

the Feat is no less impressive by the fact that the runners almost not got something to eat as the race unfolded.

Those who were servers on the matstasjonene was simply not up before the runners passed, ” says Birkely.

GREENLAND 1883: From the polforsker Adolf of the Swedish nordenskiöld expedition to Greenland. From left ses Paava-Lars Nilsson Tuorda and Anders Rassa. (Screenshot from Svenska Dagbladet.)

Photo: Screenshot Nansen had to be persuaded

Tuorda was one of the two sami who was with the polar explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld to Greenland in 1883.

During a reconnaissance trip, the two sámi 460 km in 57 hours. They arrived exhausted back.

After the expedition, there were few who believed in this story.

Fridtjof Nansen was among those who doubted that it was possible to go so far to ski at 57 hours.

In april 1884 invited Nordenskiöld to skirenn. Nansen had to be persuaded.

OUT ON the TRIP: For the saami was skiing is a matter of course when they were in expeditions in the polar regions. The picture shows members from the Nansen Grønlandsekspedisjon in 1888.

Photo: Siems & Co./owner: national Library, bldsa_f3b030 – Ugly skiteknikk

40 years before Nordenskiöldrennet was the world’s first skirenn for civilians held in Tromsø.

Already then put the sami and the kvens the standard for today’s skiteknikk.

They used two poles and had shorter skis.

Norwegians had traditionally longer ski, and used still only one stake.

the Winner of the Vasaloppet in 1929, the sámi skiløperen Johan Abram Persson from Arjeplog in Norrland, also used the two spells.

This skiteknikken was the subject of discussions, ” says associate professor of teacher education and pedagogy at the University, Alta, Helge Christian Pedersen.

DOCTORATE: Helge Christian Pedersen, at the University, has written a phd about identity tied to sports and the minorities in the north.

Photo: Sunniva C. D. Werkland /UiT

Sami skiteknikk was considered ugly. Even though it was the best, ” he says.

Examples of this describes, among other things, the Swedish historian Isaac Lidstrøm.

In 2019, he gave out a book about skiløperen Johan Abram Persson. (external link)


No am baffled anymore of skiers with two spells, even though some think that this was not moreover elegant for the 100 years ago.

Sami’s style, technique, and equipment were innovations for runners in the south. For skimiljøet the south was their style as they race on skis, ” says Pedersen.

If one were tempted to drag the parallels to today’s skiers, Klæbo-klyvet memory a little bit about this løpsteknikken.

– Are you agree it?

– Klæboe its style is also an innovation in the modern skiteknikk. He springs on the skis, and it is an innovation. People have not walked like that in oppoverbakker before, ” says Pedersen.

And add:

– to start with, it looks very strange, because your not used to it. Now, people have seen that it is by far the best way. Many will probably try the new technique, ” he says.

INNOVATION: John Høsflot Klæbo is known for its “Klæbo-klyv” – a technique that not only garnered praise in the beginning. Innovations such as V-style jumps, and skating in cross country skiing was also met with skepticism.

Photo: MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE Read also: Klæbo get custom-made roller skis – will run “Klæbo-klyv” on the asphalt Innate property

It that the sámi and the finns used skis for daily activities also affected the society’s assessment of their achievements on the ski, ” explains Pedersen.

Their properties were considered as congenital. It was a part of their nature, it is to be good to go skiing, ” he says.

And continue:

– the Norwegian or sørsvenske skiløperes feats were, however, considered to be a result of targeted training.

long runs POPULAR: long runs as Birkebeineren, Marcialonga and Vasaloppet is increasingly popular. Herreklassen in Birkebeinerrennet 2019 was won by Petter Eliassen. (Photo)

Photo: NRK / NRK also Read: Here is Norway’s oldest ski Ulvejakt for the fittest

Paava-Lars Nilsson Tuorda was also good ulvejeger.

SKIER: Hartvig Birkely thrives on the ski. Photo taken in 1972, but the 73-year-old still takes ski trips.

Photo: Private

The fastest skier was given the responsibility to keep the wolves away from the reindeer herd.

after a Few years Nordenskiöldsloppet wrote the Swedish writer, Hilmar Zetterberg about a ulvejakt that took place in the Lycksele area in 1889.

Hunters covering a distance of 1100 km in the course of a week.

Birkely has compared this with the treningsmengden that today’s top athletes have.

Active skiers train about 20 hours a week, with average speed of 14 km an hour. Then konkurranseløperens weekly treningsdistanse 480 km in a week, ” he explains.

Even today’s well-trained skier would probably need to struggle hard to keep up with the ulvejegerne, think Birkely.

also Read: Was He the first to skate?

CANCELLED 2020: Nordenskiöldsloppet was revived in 2016. The race was won by John Kristian Dahl from Kirkenes. This year’s race was cancelled due to koronakrisen.

Photo: Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet