Viking Challenge is all about reaching the summit of one of the most iconic mountains in Norway, Gaustatoppen, at 1883 meters above sea level. Rising up from the historic city of Rjukan, just 2,5 hours drive from Oslo, Gaustatoppen is annually visited by more than 50.000 people. On Saturday June 22nd 2019, however, the mountain is the arena for the annual uphill race Viking Challenge.
Viking Challenge is considered as one of the most scenic and well-arranged trail running races in Norway, with a unique atmosphere and three different trail options that fit most people and ambitions:
The Long Trail is a rather brutal climb, over 1500 vertical meters up from Rjukan Stadion to the summit, over a 11 km distance. 4 of these 11 kms are considered flat, so that means very steep parcels at times. The first 1,5 kms is on paved road, then dirt / rock / forest surface for the next 5 kms. The remaining surface is rocky, even loose and possibly dangerous at times, so be careful. At Selstali (5 kms) we are providing water / energy drink.
The Short Trail measures about 4 kms and 800 vertical meters climb, with start at Svineroe (buss shuttle to start). The trail holds a steady pitch on mostly rocky surface, and is suitable even for kids with trail / trek / outdoor experience.
Kraftløypa starts at Selstali Seter. The trail is identical to the Long Trail from here, and measures about 6 kms and 860 vertical meters to the summit. A very scenic, but also tough trail option, with limited capacity (only 64 persons will be allowed for 2018). Participants will be transported mandatory from Rjukan Stadion with dedicated buses, leaving at 09:00. Due to uncertainty of road conditions and accessability, participants will need to accept the risk of being transferred to The Short Trail, without refusal, if the organizer can not access the starting point. This will be communicated the day prior to the race, at the latest.
Everyone will receive a technical Viking Challenge jersey when you pick up your start number (or bib), and a medal when reaching the finish as a proof of completed challenge. In addition, we provide for free warm soup and water / soft drink at Gaustahytta next to the summit. Shuttle buses and return transport with Gaustabanen is included.
Registration fee includes free bus transport from/to Rjukan Stadion and Svineroe/Gaustabanen, technical t-shirt at the summit, warm soup and cold soft drink. Compulsory personal NFF insurance (NOK 50 for adults). Everyone holding a bib will get free return shuttle with the Gaustabanen cable car.
All registration is online, or at the race office at Rjukan Stadion, between 15 and 21 on Friday, or between 8 and 10:30 on Saturday.
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS:
Backpack (bike pack, runner pack) containing the following:
– Charged mobile phone, with emergency number (+47) 97 06 37 01 stored.
– VISA / Mastercard or cash
– Water / energy drink and food / gel / bars (you MUST be self-supplied with enough food/drink/energy to complete the run). Due to the terrain and environmental restrictions, there is only one drink station (at Selstali, ca 5 kms).
– Dry clothes (shirt, socks – it can be cold at Gaustatoppen)
– Itching tape /compeed, gloves, beanie, extra layer with med water- and/or windproof jacket / pant, after weather conditions on the race day. Solid footwear that can handle rough terrain, solid grip on rocks. Given the weather forecast for race day, you should definitely bring extra layers, since the summit can experience sub-zero temperatures even in the summer.
How to get to Rjukan, and where to stay?