+ A

Red Bull challenges athletes to take the climb

June 14,2019
이미지뷰
Runners take part in the Red Bull 400, a race up a ski jump, in Russia in May. The first Korean race takes place in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon, on Sept. 28. [RED BULL]




Ski jump ramps made for skiers to launch themselves off of during competitions worldwide have been turned into venues for a competition that is the exact opposite of ski jumping.

Austrian energy drink company Red Bull challenges athletes from around the world to start from the bottom of the ramp and run 400 meters (1,312 feet) to the top. This year, it brings the race to PyeongChang Alpensia in Gangwon, after it has begun offering the event annually elsewhere, including in the United States, Japan, Norway, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Slovenia and more.

The finish line is about 140 meters high, which is as high as the 40th floor of an average building, and the average incline of the 400-meter race ranges from 30 to 37 degrees. Organizers say the race requires thigh strength, so athletes need to train their upper legs to prepare for the September run. The record time for women, 3 minutes and 52 seconds, was set at a race in 2016. The record for men is 3 minutes and 17 seconds. It was also set at the 2016 race.

Organizers will recruit about 660 participants for the event, with about 80 firefighters invited to join free of charge. Those who qualify at an earlier competition will also earn a chance to join the race for free. To sign up, it costs 80,000 won ($67) per person. For those who join in teams of four, it costs 260,000 won in total. To get a chance to participate in the September race for free, interested parties can take part in competitions hosted by Red Bull on June 29 in Eunpyeong District, northern Seoul, and on July 6 at 4TP Fitness in Seocho District, southern Seoul.

The winners of the races from all around the world will gather together for the annual World Final in Whistler, Canada, and the winner for the Korean race will be invited to next year’s world final. Globally, a little over 13,000 people participated in the race last year.

The 400-meter upward race comes from the mind of Andreas Berger, a former national runner for Austria. He was passing by a ski jump in 2011 and the thought that it can be challenging and adventurous to run up the ramp came to him. The first race in Austria in 2011 drew 247 people. The event this year will take place in 20 different regions in 18 countries. Last year, the youngest participant was 14, and the oldest was 93.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]



The 2019 Red Bull 400 Korea will take place on Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. at PyeongChang Alpensia in Gangwon. For more, go to www.redbull.com.