Andreas Nygaard, World’s Most Unusual Marathon Winner

If you ever wanted proof that today’s cross country skiing is not your dad’s skiing – look no further than the towering figure of Andreas Nygaard. This 26-year-old Norwegian made a bit of history this month – making redundant a lot of preconceived notions about skiing.

Standing at an impressive 1.93cm (6 ft 3 in) and weighing in at 92kg (205 lb), Nygaard hardly looks like a marathoner – yet it was him who was the first to cross the finish line at the most challenging skiing marathon of them all – the Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet.

It took Nygaard a whopping 11 hours, 45 minutes and 07 seconds to ski 220 km through Arctic wilderness , beating the other 240 participants from 15 nations at Jokkmokk, Sweden, that lies beyond the Arctic Circle.

Russia’s skiing portal Openski.ru caught up with Nygaard after the race to discuss his performance.

Here are the excerpts:

  • You’re probably the most muscular, heaviest skier since Mieto and Smirre-Smirnov. How could such a muscular, physical guy like you run and win super-marathon? Are you unique in that way?

  • Hard to say, but yeah. Definitely the biggest guy in the circus atm ( at the moment). Kein Einaste is also big. I am 1.93cm and 92kg. I guess good vo2 max and strength is the reason. Super-marathon is made for me, especially when most of it are on flat parts.

  • 220k must be a race like no other, What do you eat the day before and on the day of the race?

  • Normal eating with extra focus on carbohydrates and no fibre days before gels, bars, cinnamon buns and snickers on the race day.

  • Lots of people would like to know “how do they pee on that 220km distance???”

  • At the start you stop. The last half you piss in the downhills in speed, like in cycling.

  • You all looked extremely tired standing on the podium after the race – describe how your body feels? That evening after the race – can you even fall asleep?

  • Tired and happy. Not so bad actually. Slept like a baby.

  • Could you race the next day? What do you think of multi stage races like Tour de France on skis? Maybe just 3 day at the beggining?

  • Hehe probably Yes. I think that would have been really really cool.

  • In your opinion, what needs to be done for marathons and super-marathons to compete for attention of viewers and readers? When would millions, tens of millions tune up to watch you guys compete?

  • Professional broadcasting, competitions on well-picked resorts, and a lot of snow. We need more international stars – good marathon skiers from Germany, Russia, Italia, France etc. Perhaps join the FIS, and cooperate with the FIS marathon skiers.

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(Top photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/skiandreas/ )

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