“I dream of one day winning a Phasalopept Award,” says Peter Northug.
But he’s not sure he’ll actually be able to do that on Sunday.
– but maybe in 2024 or 2025. I’m 37 and short on time. If I’m going to make it, it should happen soon, says the Ski King, who is also a TV2 cross-country expert.
Petter Northug is in Sweden and ready for the biggest challenge of his career – now that he’s given up: the 90-kilometre Vasaloppet.
– I’m a beginner and don’t quite know what I’m doing, says Northug.
Trønder met his former rival, Switzerland’s Dario Cologne, during a ski water tournament in Planica.
He raced a few years ago and there wasn’t much encouragement from him. After about seven miles, Dario said, his arms almost shriveled up. It doesn’t look good. And then the last kilometers will be long, Northog explains.
– Are you afraid of the trip?
– Yes, because I don’t know who’s waiting, Northog answers.
– I ran about five miles. Here it will be twice the length. I have no idea how the body would respond to such stress. Will I have a muscle cramp? Am I getting enough nutrition? How are the skis after six or seven miles? What will the weather and driving be like? Am I able to keep up when one of the teams picks up pace after a three-hour strike? How exhausted will I be in the end? asks Northug.
– There are a lot of questions I wonder. But, I’m really excited and can take a lot of beatings. Because that would really hurt, Northug assures.
– The last long-distance race I did was in Ursa, Sweden. It was probably about half that limit. There you can not keep up with the finish and finished fifth?
– It wasn’t much to brag about, but if I stick to Vasaloppet as we near the finish line in Mora we can hope for a little help from ‘above’.
– I had a little sprain while training in Planica last week. Let’s hope that helps, says Peter Northug, who runs the Vasaloppet for the first time on Sunday.
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