Rachel McBride wins Whistler’s Red Bull 400, the world’s steepest 400m running race
Rachel McBride proved her running abilities include more than just fast half-marathons at this morning’s Red Bull 400 in Whistler, B.C. The pro triathlete and half distance specialist won the women’s field, running 4:56 in the uphill race.
View this post on Instagram
Winner winner!! Coaxed by @mtn_strong to run the #redbull400 today and ended up top of the podium with a sub-5 min final! Would have put me top-16 in the men's final. I have never felt so lactic in all my years of racing. Huge thanks to @redbullcanada and @garyrobbins for putting on a stellar event at a stunning location in #whistler. Also congrats to steeplechase star Chantelle Groenewoud and Xterra crusher Zoe Dawson for battling with me to the finish.
Though the race is just 400 metres and typically lasts under 10 minutes, the Red Bull 400 will put runners to their knees. The Red Bull 400, held at Whistler Olympic Park in British Columbia, the site of the 2010 Winter Games, is a 400-metre race to the top of the ski jump hill. The 37-degree climb makes it the “steepest 400m race in the world.”
The event returned to the Olympic venue on Saturday after making its debut in 2015.
Though McBride’s time was not a world record, it was a Whistler course record. Red Bull 400s are run in eight cities across the world.
"That wooden ramp in the final was like nothing I've ever experienced," says #RedBull400 winner Rachel McBride. pic.twitter.com/mSG0qAmwO3
— Red Bull Canada (@RedBullCanada) July 30, 2016
Canadian trail running legend Gary Robbins, who resides in North Vancouver, about 90 minutes south of Whistler, helped organize the race on Saturday. There were 600 runners who took part according to Robbins.
Runners qualified for a final heat by performing well in the preliminary round so the top runners did a pair of 400m races on Saturday. The final portion of the race includes running up the takeoff area for ski jumping, a form of Nordic skiing where athletes fly as far as possible down a slope. The event is part of the Winter Olympics.
McBride recently placed second at Ironman 70.3 Calgary. She has several course records and podium finishes to her name in long course triathlon.