There’s tough and then there’s Red Bull 400-tough. The Red Bull 400 is a world series event and the most extreme and steepest global uphill sprint ever. It was invented in Austria in 2011 and has grown into an epic competition for the fiercest athletes around the world. The race has taken place in 17 different countries, including Finland, Canada, Germany, United States, Japan, Russia, and Italy.
If you’re scoffing at the idea of uphill running as tough, keep in mind these aren’t “The Sound of Music” hills. Competitors have to run from the bottom to the top of ski jumping and ski flying hills. That’s a distance of 400m with a max incline angle of 37 degrees. Every year, the race times get faster and faster. The world record is 2m 48s for men and 3m 39s for women, both set in Einsiedeln, Switzerland in 2018.
Nowhere but up
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Red Bull 400, which took place where it all began: Austria. The event saw 800 starters from 18 nations battle it out at the Paul-Ausserleitner-Schanze ski-jumping venue in Bischofshofen. Jakub Šiarnik and Kristina Néč Lapinová of Slovakia crossed the finish line first. Šiarnik finished at 3m 22s and Lapinova at 4m 32s.
The race is intense and calls for the toughest of tough. Participants from across the globe have come from a huge variety of sporting backgrounds and fitness levels. From hobbyists to Olympic medalists, the race has seen the likes of US swimmer Ryan Lochte and Norweigian cross-country skier Petter Northug. As tough as the Red Bull 400 is, the race is by no means limited to professional athletes.
The event has seen competitors ranging from ages 14 to 93. The race is a blend of activities, from full distance to relay races separated by heats, semi-finals, and finals. The Red Bull 400 is a challenge unlike any other. It’s brutal but rewarding, and an experience of a lifetime. Buy Here