The Red Bull 400 race has been going for a few years now, so we thought it was about time we got ourselves out there to see what all the fuss was about. So I travelled to Bischofshofen, Austria, to join up with the boys from the British Military Fitness Race Team (Ross MacDonald and Thomas Blanc) along with one of our favourite Mudstaclites, Mark 'The Prince' Mene
The Red Bull 400 is essentially a race with only one obstacle, it just so happens that this obstacle is 400 metres in length, climbs 140 metres and tops out at a 35% incline. This was going to be anywhere between four minutes and 8 minutes of calf and quad burning pain, as bodies succumb to lactic acid overloading.
As with all Red Bull events, we knew this was going to be well organised, well attended, and a place where even the weakest of participants would be made to feel like an athlete, with free food, fruit and drinks. That is until they hit the first incline!
The Red Bull 400 is totally bonkers and totally Red Bull. Anyone who thinks that running up a ski slop in 30 degrees centigrade is not nuts, needs to check in with their doctor.
In terms of what it is like to take on this challenge, well, no video or words can really do it justice, but here is a basic overview, which should help when watching the video. The 400 metres is split into four zones:
- Zone 1: Start/out-run
- Zone 2: K-spot
- Zone 3: Take-off area
- Zone 4: Finish/approach
You start the race in Zone 1, which is a fast, flat grassy section of about 60 - 70 meters, you then hit the slope which is covered in cargo netting up through Zone 2 which is the steepest part of the slope. At Zone 3 there is a steep wooden frame to climb from the k-spot to the take off area and then you are onto the concrete approach, Zone 4.
There are open heats for males and females, followed by finals. You also have a mixed relay race, again with heats and a final, where teams of four take on 100 metres each. The speed of those relay races are amazing. A good time this year was around 5 - 5:30 minutes and the winning time was around 4 minutes!
As these races are either in Europe, North America or Canada, you might think it's a bit far to go for a 400 metre race with only one obstacle, but it isn't. The atmosphere and the 'epicness' of the event makes it worthwhile, and if you bolt on a few things either side of race day, you are in for one hell of a treat!
See you next year!
Video footage captured by Craig Pearce and Scott, and edited by Scott.