The Red Bull 400 is Canada’s steepest race, and on July 14th, it was also the World Championships. At this year’s event, the women’s podium was a Canadian sweep. Madison Sands took the win in 4:18, second place went to Brooke Spence in 4:30 and third place went to Robyn Mildren in 4:41. All three women have impressive running credentials. Sands owns the Grouse Grind course record. Spence has completed 18 ascents in 2019, and Mildren is a strong road racer, winning the 2018 Boxing Day 10-miler against a really strong field.

Madison Sands and Alexandre Ricard

However, the defending Red Bull 400 Whistler champion and Canadian professional triathlete Rachel McBride was missing from action. In the heats, the Canadian triathlete qualified third overall and was set to defend her title in the finals. Unfortunately, McBride missed the women’s final. In an effort to salvage her race, she competed with the men and finished 23rd.

Rachel McBride won Reb Bull 400 Whistler 2018. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

A day following the event, McBride posted on her Instagram account about the day’s events.

After winning my qualifying heat and going into the final seated 3rd, I was seriously ready to battle!! And then a little drama: a miscommunication with the race organizers — the final heat was posted to run at 2:15pm, however that was the final heat for the MEN. Little did I know that the women’s final was running 15min earlier and I missed it while warming up… I finished 23rd among the guys and posted a time (4:55) that would have placed me top 5 in the women’s field.

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#redbull400 world championships recap: I came back to Whistler to defend my spot on the podium for the last 2 runnings. Being the World Champs this year, it was so rad to see some strong competition come out and toe the line! After winning my qualifying heat and going into the final seated 3rd, I was seriously ready to battle!! . And then a little drama: a miscommunication with the race organizers — the final heat was posted to run at 2:15pm, however that was the final heat for the MEN. Little did I know that the women’s final was running 15min earlier and I missed it while warming up. With 30s to spare, I was able to jump in with the men! I finished 23rd among the guys and posted a time (4:55) that would have placed me top 5 in the women’s field. . This feels anti-climatic, and I’m honestly pretty bummed. However I’m proud of making lemonade out of 🍋 s. Also stoked to see my time is about the same as when I won in 2016, when I was doing much more specific training and hadn’t done Challenge Roth the weekend before! 😹💪 . Big thanks to @redbullcanada for once again putting on the toughest 400m I run every year! . Photo credit @tyholtan . #redbull400worldchampionships #topoathletic #wattieink #compressportcanada

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In the men’s race, the overall win went to Alexandre Ricard in a new course record of 3:29. He was followed by Erik Resell of Norway in 3:30 and Jakob Mayer of Great Britain in 3:35.

Full results can be found here.

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