Four hundred meters from start to finish doesn’t sound that bad in the scheme of races. That’s pretty easy, right?
Consider the Red Bull 400: a race up a world class Slovenian ski jump.
From the starting line at the base of the jump to the finish at the top, the course covers 400 meters and includes 180 meters of vertical gain. That equals an average gradient of about 45% or an angle of ascent of about 24 degrees, a pretty typical slope found on standard staircases. Cover that slope with slippery grass and stretch it the length of four football fields and now you’re talking tough. So tough that it took pro Turk mountain racer and Red Bull 400 winner Ahmet Arslan five minutes and two seconds to crawl on all fours up the ski jump and across the finish line. The fastest woman, Austrian Teresa Stadlober, finished in six minutes, 46 seconds.
Think you can do better? Prove it. Practice racing up before the snow hits.