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Pettersen leads the Birkie Triple

Øystein Pettersen enjoyed his first attempt at the Birkebeiner half marathon trail run. Photo: Inge Scheve
Øystein Pettersen enjoyed his first attempt at the Birkebeiner half marathon trail run. Photo: Inge Scheve

Øystein Pettersen enjoyed his first attempt at the Birkebeiner half marathon trail run. Photo: Inge Scheve

Øystein Pettersen (NOR) debuted in the Birkebeiner running race earning himself the overall lead in the Birkebeiner Triple.

The Birkie Triple consists of all three Birkebeiner events: the 54km ski race in March, the half marathon trail run in June and the 84km mountain bike race in August.

Finishing the trail run on June 10 in 1 hour and 16 minutes Madshus marathon racer Pettersen is now ahead by eight minutes.

“I am stoked,” Pettersen said after his first attempt at the Birkebeiner half marathon.

“It was marvelous! I suffered some, I enjoyed myself some, I was fed lefse on the course and people were cheering along the way. I was a great experience,” he said at the finish line while the rain was pouring down.

“This is exactly what the Birkie should be about, and what the Birkie is all about. I hope the weather is even lousier next year, then it will be even better,” he continued.

A rookie at the Birkie half marathon, Pettersen didn’t know what to expect from the course and the competitors, and was excited to clock in at 1:16.

“I had hoped to make 1:20, so 1:16 is amazing for me, he said.

Combined with his performance at the Birkebeiner ski race in March, Pettersen has a cumulative time of 3:42:51 and leads the overall Birkie Triple with an eight-minute margin with only the Birkie Mountain Bike race to go for this season.

Test run for The Birkie

Geir Ludvig Aasen Ouren (Madshus) delivered a solid performance in the mountain bike race N3-Norefjellstrippelen  on July 2. The race is a part of the multisport event Norefjellstrippelen, which consists of a ski race in April, a mountain bike race in July and a trail run in September.

Aasen Ouren cruised into fifth place in the 70-kilometer N3 mountain bike race, 11 minutes ahead of his arch rival Anders Aukland.

The N3 is considered a brutal fitness test leading up to the Birkebeiner mountain bike race in August. Despite the N3 mountain bike being 70 kilometers long, the athletes post roughly the same finishing times as they do in the 94 kilometer long Birkebeiner.

Aasen Ouren is currently in a strong position to win the legenday triple sport event Birkebeinertrippelen, which he has won twice before.

Read more Langrenn.com

Geir Ludvig Aasen Ouren - N3. (Photo courtesy of the event organizers)

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