The day before yesterday the Red Bull 400 Event – the World Championships of this event series taking place worldwide – took place in very rainy weather and with cool temperatures in Bischofshofen. If you want to know more about the event or my preparation then just read the first article of this series, #RoadTo: Red Bull 400.
My preparation wen very well. Relatively fast, however, I moved away from the “sprint idea” and prepared for a fast to moderate run. 2 weeks before the event took place, I increased my training frequency and trained sprints every second. In total, I came to about 4 weeks of explicit preparation for the event.
The arrival and pick-up went smoothly. I would like to praise the organization of the event at this point. First of all, the numerous goodies that you receive when signing up, such as food stamps, stamps for 5! different drinks, a Red Bull 400 towel from Vossen, a Red Bull 400 T-shirt and other vouchers stand out. The Red Bull 400 bag itself, which contained the goodies, was of much higher quality compared to other events as well. The existing supply stations were also equipped well above average.
The first inspection of the ski jump before the event made clear: A slope of 72° is difficult to imagine, it is hard to prepare for something like that. Since I was in the fourth of eleven heats, I was able to observe how my opponents approached this challenge, but with only 12 minutes between the heats, I had to warm up soon in order to be ready to start.
The first 100m with barely noticeable slope went very well, during the next 100m with much more slope, I began to feel my legs. The steepest part of the hill waited between the 200m and 300m mark, almost every athlete began to use his hands during that part and it was here that I noticed for the first time: I can hold a relatively high speed and leave my opponents behind.
I arrived at the jump-off plattform in sixth place of my heat, which was clad only with wood and was very slippery because of the constant rain. Running was out of the question at this point, even normal walking was only possible with excessive effort. A short distance before the finish, ropes were tied on the side which I gratefully used as a pulling aid, but the last part before the finish line had to be challenged without the aid of ropes.
Completely exhausted, I arrived at the finish line with a time of 04:54 as sixth of my heat and I needed a lot of time to recover from the strain of this challenge. However, with my time, I qualified for the semi-finals of the Red Bull 400 World Championships as the 70th overall (from about 1500 men), which I participated in after a lot of bananas and granola bars.
Meanwhile, the rain had become so strong that a net had been prepared for the jump-off plattform in order to aid with the ascend. In the first of four heats I started in the semi-final. Relatively quickly, however, I realized my legs still felt my first run (4 weeks of preparation are too little for such a strain) and the inner struggle with myself began much earlier than on my previous ascent. After a lot of very hard meters I finished my second run with a time of 05:06 and unfortunately missed the the finals by 1 ½ seconds or 3 places.
My conclusion? I was very satisfied with my performance and am amazed bythe event. Top organization and definitely an athletic challenge of a different kind. I am already looking forward to the next year, where I plan to start again – this time, with more time to prepare!
Did you like this article? Tell me in the comments if you were also there and if you want to read more posts about various sporting events and new sports!
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