Birkebeiners Torstein Skevla and Skjervald Skrukka carry little Håkon Håkonsson, the king’s son, in 1206. This painting is called Birkebeinerne by Knud Bergslien and was painted approximately 1869.
The Birkebeiners were poor farmers. They were so poor that they used bark from the birch trees to protect their legs instead of armor. They traveled on skis. The Baglers were rich land owners. They had armor and horses. Birkebeiners against the Baglers
In 1206, the Birkebeiners set off on a dangerous voyage through dangerous mountains and forests, taking the 2 year old Haakon Haakonsson to safety in Trondheim where he would be safe. They saved life of the boy who later became King Haakon Haakonsson IV.
Every March in Norway, they run a ski marathon in honor of the birkebeiners who saved the king. http://www.birkebeiner.no/renn_eng/
The race is 54 kilometers or 33.5 miles from Lillehamer to Rena, Norway.
There are other Birkebeiner ski races in the United States and in Canada.