Birkebeinerrennet's skating race, Skøytebirken, took place today in foggy but otherwise perfect winter conditions. The 54 km course was exactly the same as for tomorrow's main race and the technique was free, but many skiers skied from Rena to Lillehammer by using traditional diagonal striding.
The men's race was won by Simen Sveen from Norway, Heikki Korpela from Finland was second more than 10 minutes behind the winner, and Petter Soleng Skinstad from Norway was third about a minute behind the Finn.
The fastest woman in today's skating race was Annika Taylor from the UK followed by Hilde Fenne from Norway, less than 30 seconds behind the winner, and Barbro Kvåle from Norway was third.
Skate Birken results: http://resultatservice.birkebeiner.no/live_sok_SB.php