What’s 400 metres, right? It’s one lap around a standard athletics track, for goodness’ sake. Granted, not everyone could complete 400 metres in Wayde van Niekerk’s record-breaking time of just 43.03 seconds, but how does a 400-metre race where the record is 3 minutes and 03.9 seconds – and that’s way ahead of the average time – sound?
The Red Bull 400 is called the toughest 400-metre race in the world, and for good reason. Competitors in this extreme race are required to run up a 400-metre ski-jump slope. With a maximum incline of 37 degrees, the Red Bull 400 has been held in fourteen different countries so far, and this race pushes athletes to their absolute limits.
After completing the Red Bull 400 that was held at Whistler Olympic Park in Canada in 2015, South African ultra marathon master, Ryan Sandes, highlighted the uniquely gruelling nature of this event:
“My lungs took a real beating as I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m used to running 100 miles at once and this like taking all that pain and suffering and condensing it into 400 metres,” said Sandes.
Coming from the man who was the first to win all four legs of the 250-kilometre 4 Deserts Race Series, and who set a new record when he completed the 210-kilometre Grand Traverse of the Drakensberg Mountain Range in 41 hours and 49 minutes just the year before attempting the Red Bull 400, that says a lot.
About the Red Bull 400
The Red Bull 400 is a pure uphill sprint that sees athletes run up a ski jump at a height gain 0f 140 meters. Participants have to complete 400 metres while competing with a slope that has a maximum incline of 37 degrees. It is said to be the most tiring short race in the world.
Have a look at the video below to see why.