Steepest Footrace On Earth

Filed under: Running 

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Who can run-crawl the fastest? Photo (c) Red Bull

This July, the Whistler Olympic Park will host the Red Bull 400, an event called the steepest 400-meter race in the world.

Participants sprint from the start line then bound, stride, run, and crawl their way to the top.

Related: See video on “The Toughest 400-Meter Race.”

The course goes up grass on the steep landing zone of a ski jump. There are qualifiers and final heats to claim a champion.

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Sprinting on hands and knees; photo (c) Red Bull

Racers pictured in this article are competing at the Red Bull 400 event in Austria last year. See the video here for a peek at the vertical challenge.

The 2015 event will be held in Whistler on July 19. Sign up here to race, it’s $40 a head to take the Red Bull 400 challenge.

In 2012, I participated in a similar event in Vail, Colo. The “Vail Uphill” climbed more than 400 meters, and it was on snow, but the course was similarly steep.

More than one racer puked from the exertion in Vail. Some, including the winners, developed special foot gear for the course. (See “Yaktrax and Frankenspikes” for the full scoop.)

Good luck to anyone who signs up for the Whistler hill-sprint. It promises to be among the most heart-rate-elevating events of the summer.

Stephen RegenoldStephen Regenold
Stephen Regenold
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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.
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