Fredrik Mandt of Skien, Norway, was crushed by the speedy national team racer from Dalsbygda, who also has the nickname Duracell Bunny, in the hill climb race up the alpine run in Rauland, Norway, on Saturday. Mandt had to eat the soles of his ski boots (with chili) at the top of the climb.
“I had shoe soles and ate my shoes. I had lactic acid coming out my ears after five meters,” Mandt said to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet after his race. He admits that the field moved faster than he expected. “I don’t even want to talk about how far back I was. It was the technique that failed me,” he said.
How did your boots taste?
“Of course, it was really hard to have to eat my boots, and they had a bitter taste. We dressed them with Mexican chili to mask the taste, but if I have to compare the consistency to any kind of meat, I would say it classifies as tough,” Mandt said. He has already accepted his new nick name: “The Big Mouth from Skien.”
Therese Johaug waited for her challenger at the top, and could pretty much have showered before Mandt arrived.
“I’ve changed and eaten already. Looks like you need to eat some of the food from my neck of the woods,” Johaug said to Mandt, according to the newspaper TA.
Revenge – without skis
Fredrik Mandt is hoping to get even in a different race, one where he feels the playing ground is more level.
“I’ll challenge her to a rematch with running shoes. I hope Johaug is sporty enough to take me up on the offer and we can carry out what the bet was really about,” Mandt said with a laugh.
“That’s what I thought this was about when I agreed to eat my shoes. Once I realized this was about skiing, I dearly regretted the bet,” he explained. But on the other hand, Mandt is happy to contribute to create a little more commotion about the event in Rauland this weekend.
Normally, Mandt is a triathlete, and has competed seven times in one of the world’s toughest one-day races, the Norseman Extreme Triathlon (consisting of a 3.8-kilometers open water swim in the frigid Hardangerfjorden in Norway, a 180-kilometer bike leg and concluding with a 42.2-kilometer marathon where the last 17 kilometers climbs 1,800 meters – or more than 5,200 feet).
From Dagbladet.no, April 2, 2011. By Mads Gudim Burheim, translation by Inge Scheve
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.