A 400 metre run was bad enough when you were at your school sports day but a 400m run up a ski jump is a different story! Yes, this madness is real!
Originating from Austria in 2011 and now in its eighth year, the Red Bull 400 is the most challenging 400 metre race in the world in which participants run 400 metres up a ski jump with a 37 degree angle. Touring 20 ski jumps across Europe, Asia and North America, it welcomes entrants from around the world with a range of sporting disciplines and fitness levels and is the biggest test of determination and endurance.
The 2019 tour started in Almaty in Kazakhstan on the 28th April and will continue around the world, finishing at PyeongChang in South Korea on the 28th September. But along the way, the races are taking place at familiar locations!
Earlier this month the venues included Sapporo in Japan and on June 1st it will take place in Park City, Utah as well the 1992 Winter Olympic jump in Courchevel and in Val di Fiemme in Italy’s Dolomites on the 6th July, Whistler in Canada on the 13th July, Bischofshofen near St Johann in Austria on the 24th August and Planica in Slovenia (not far from Kranjska Gora ski resort) on the 14th September.
Just a few weeks ago was the third event of the series in Copper Peak resort, Michigan in which a thousand participants competed across 20 heats and from there the best 40 men and women competed for the final round. Miles Fink Debray was one of the winners with a time of 4 minutes and 38 seconds as well as Sarah Hendrickson who is also a World Champion ski jumper and a USA Winter Olympic Games athlete who completed it in 6 minutes and 13 seconds. To put the challenge into perspective, the world record for the 400m track is 43.03 seconds and the world record for the Red Bull 400 is 3 minutes 48 seconds! The course does begin on flat terrain, about 75 metres from the start but participants then have to face a steep climb where at times they must be on all fours and pull themselves up using their hands to keep up the momentum.
If you fancy a go at it, then it is open to the public or you can just stream it from the Red Bull TV and watch in awe!