Though it’s only 400 metres, running the world’s steepest 400m race is a bit of an exaggeration. Climbing may be more of an appropriate term for the Red Bull 400, which is set to return to Canada, specifically Whistler, B.C., this summer.
Whistler Olympic Park is set to host the race on July 30 as runners begin at the bottom of the ski jump area and climb a 37-degree incline to the top. The 2015 edition of the race was Whistler’s debut hosting the Red Bull 400.
Last year, North Vancouver’s Brandon Crichton won the event in 3:53, which was also a world record. Crichton is predominantly a cyclist and is expected to race again at July’s event. The winning women’s time in 2015 was 5:08, set by Squamish, B.C.’s Zoe Dawson.
Whistler Olympic Park was one of the focal points of the Winter Games which Vancouver hosted in 2010. The venue’s intended purpose is for ski jumping, a form of Nordic skiing, as athletes take off at the end of a ramp and try to cover as much distance as possible. Skiers appear to “fly” down the slope.
The view from the top of the course is rather daunting despite the distance being less than half a kilometre.
The view from the finish line. The climb with the stairs was big enough let alone on the grass… I'll have to start training for next year now!! #whistler #redbull #redbull400 #redbull400whistler #whistlerolympicpark #callaghan #givesyouwings #skijump #goingthewrongway #climb #endurance #athlete #beastmode @redbull @tagwhistler #gopro #goprotravel #goproworld
Judging by the video at the top of the page and the above photo, runners will be getting a full body workout during the event. The first portion of the incline is run on trail and grass while the latter portion of the 400m stretch is run on wooden planks.
Registration closes on July 25 and the race offers an individual, relay and a firefighter/police/EMS relay category. A jersey, lunch and event souvenirs are included in registration. Prices range from $25 to $50 per person depending on the category.