Pippa Middleton is to take part in the gruelling 90-kilometre Vasaloppet cross-country ski race.

Pippa and James Middleton, sister and brother of the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, will be among the 15,800 participants taking part in the event in Sweden March 4. They are taking part in a bid to raise money for charity.

"It is now confirmed. We have been contacted by a person close to them who has asked us if we could arrange this. It's really fantastic that such well known people will take part; it shows that our arrangements attract not only the most renowned skiers in the world but also some of the most famous personalities in the world as well! Everyone does it because it's a challenge and achievement to ski Vasaloppet," says Per Strid, Vasaloppet's Information Manager.    

Vasaloppet is the oldest, the longest and the biggest cross-country ski race in the world. It always takes place on the first Sunday in March and is extremely popular - Vasaloppet 2012 has been fully booked since May 30 2011. The 90-kilometre route takes contestants through the great natural beauty of the Vasalopps Arena.

Vasaloppet has two competition classes, for men (H19), and for women (D19) with a mass start for both classes at 8 a.m. 

Ski technique must be 'classic technique'. The use of free technique results in disqualification; there is a comprehensive control of this along the entire course. It is also absolutely forbidden to take off skis and walk on the tracks. 

To take part in the race, you must reach certain checkpoints at certain times and the International Ski Federation (FIS) competition rules apply.

Watch the start of the Vasaloppet 2011:

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