Saturday was a perfect day in Whistler, B.C. for the Redbull 400. Red Bull 400 world record holder and 2016 champion, Kieran Lumb, ran extremely well to finish first overall in a time of 3:52.
Gripped Publishing recently did a call-out to Canada’s top endurance sport athletes in the running, cycling and triathlon specialties for a unique challenge. The goal of the contest was to pit its three magazines (Canadian Running, Canadian Cycling and Triathlon Canada) against each other to determine who’s the top in endurance sports.
The Red Bull 400 was our middle battle ground between cycling, triathlon and running. While a runner may have an advantage in terms of time spent on their feet, a cyclist and triathlete are arguably more accustomed to steep inclines and hill climbing. None of the three athletes are perfectly prepared for an uphill race like this, which makes it the perfect opportunity to test their pure strength, grit and tenacity.
The race is run in two rounds. The top 50 times from the first round make it on to the final later on in the day.
Lumb looked strong in the heats Saturday morning and said after, “Once you crest the grass and start up the wooden part it gets really hard.”
Lumb attends the University of British Columbia for Engineering, and has joined their track and cross-country team. Lumb mentioned, “My training is different than two years ago, so I’m not going into the race with too many expectations.”
Triathlon competitor Rachel McBride and cycling competitor Michael Van Den Ham were excited for the contest. McBride said pre-race, “The race gets really hard with 50 metres to go. As soon as you’re up that ramp it’s mind over matter.”
McBride moved through the heats easily, and started strong in the women’s final. She was challenged by Robyn Mildren and Brooke Spence. Mildren took the win in 4:45, Spence finished in 4:52 and McBride was just shy of breaking the five minute mark, finishing in 5:01.
Van Den Ham and Lumb went head-to-head in the men’s final minutes later. Lumb didn’t set a new world record, but he did come out on top finishing in 3:52. Second place went to Jordan Guenette in 3:55 and third place to Marian Treger in 4:04. Van Den Ham finished in fifth in 4:10.
Both triathlon and cycling magazine put up a good fight, but in the end running reigned supreme. Now Lumb gets an all-expenses paid trip to the Red Bull 400 World Championships in Austria, and running magazine gets bragging rights.