Back in March 2015, before he competed in the final of Melodifestivalen, Måns Zelmerlöw vowed that if he won, he’d do the Swedish Classic – a series of four challenging long-distance athletic events. He was a man of his word, and with the completion of a 30km run yesterday, Måns has earned that title.
It started back in 2015, with the Melodifestivalen postcards. Each of the finalists were asked what they would do if they won Melfest. Most just named a fun or easy task, but Måns thought big, promising that he would complete the Swedish Classic the following year. And as he won with “Heroes”, he felt obliged to actually get out there and do it. And so began Måns’ big adventure.
The first part was in March, with the 90km Vasaloppet cross country ski event. Måns described the tough event as “probably the worst thing I’ve ever done”, but said that the “feeling when I crossed the finish line, cheered on by the people of Mora, was just incredible”. He finished in 9 hours and eight minutes.
Probably the worst thing I've ever done. But still – so proud! The feeling when I crossed the finish line, cheered on by the people of Mora, was just incredible. Thank you everyone who came out and gave me energy and most of all – thank you Rikard and Daniel Tynell for your encouragement and training. This would've never happened without you. Finished in 9h8min which was way better than I'd thought given the weather and snow-conditions. Might have a second try next year. 😉 now – sleeeep! #vasaloppet #ensvenskklassiker #salomon #skigo #teamsportia #teamtynell #umarasports #pierrerobert #2xucompression
Then came summer and the 300km Vätternrundan cycling event in June. It’s a scenic ride around Lake Vättern, but the event was still a challenge for Måns, describing it as “Probably the worst 11 hours of my life due to rain, pain and brain.” But as always he was very happy to cross the finish line, though noted that at the end of the event, he couldn’t really walk.
That was followed one month later by the 3km Vansbrosimningen open-water swimming event. Måns pulled on his speedos and completed the event in 1 hour and 12 minutes. He wrote that he was “SO happy!” to have completed the big swim.
And finally came the 30km Lidingöloppet cross country running event on Saturday. Måns clocked in with a time of 3 hours and 15 minutes. He said that the “30km terrain run today sounded worse than it was” though the final 4km “felt like three days”. And the finish — which ensured he had also earned the Swedish Classic Circuit award — was “MAGNIFICENT!”
A SWEDISH CLASSIC! ?? I made a promise before the #melfest finals 2015 that if I won, I was gonna do it. And I kept it! 30km terrain run today sounded worse than it was, even though the last 4 km felt like three days. 3h15min might not be the best time ever but the most important thing is the finish, and it was MAGNIFICENT! ? thank you #ensvenskklassiker , #asics #2XU , #garmin , #bianchi , #teamtynell , #shimano , #teamsportia and everyone else who has helped me with this and supported me all the way. And yes, I'm doing #vasaloppet again next year.
And, we should note, in between competing in the Vasaloppet and the Vätternrundan he just happened to also host the Eurovision Song Contest. Fans may have noticed that Måns was looking particularly buff during the “wolf” skit — a direct result of his training for the Classic!
Congratulations to Måns for this achievement! But we’re wondering — will the winner of Melodifestivalen 2017 will also feel compelled to do the Swedish Classic?