For the sixth year in a row, Red Bull Crashed Ice has taken over St. Paul, Minnesota, to present one of the most insane sporting events in the world.
Dozens of racers from all over the globe converge upon this charming town and attempt a death-defying 1,200-foot long ice track that's complete with jumps, drops, bumps and hills one ice skates. It's dubbed the fastest sport on skates, and Metro can tell you first hand that that is no lie — and that it should be called the coldest sports on skates as well.
This reporter left the mostly mild winter she's been experiencing in New York to attend RBCI with photographer Tom Roarty, and to say that St. Paul is freezing is an understatement (at the time of this writing, the temperature was a chill 15).
But that didn't stop thousands from attending the shootout portion of this event on Friday, Feb. 3 — and more than 100,000 are expected to show up to cheer on the athletes — including hometown racers Maxwell Dunn and Cameron Naasz — during Saturday night's finals. Dunn is in first place going into the finals, and Naasz, who is currently in second, won last year's St. Paul event.
Built from scratch on the steps of the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Paul overlooking St. Paul, the Red Bull Crashed Ice course is one of several Red Bull tracks used during the sport's shorter-than most season, which takes place all over the world. The event in St. Paul is the only one set in the United States.
Here's a rundown of just what goes into building such a bad-ass course that is 1,200 feet of pure ice insanity.
• 40 percent: amount of track built on scaffolding and lumber structures
• 8 truckloads of steel
• 900 4x4s mounted to custom steel legs
• 30,000 screws
• 250,000 feet of pipes
• 650 plywood sheets
• 12,000 manhours
• 1,000 cans of Red Bull consumed
ICE, ICE BABY
• 8 ice makers to mist water onto refrigerated mats 24 hours a day for 6 days
• 3 high-performance “chiller” units
• 30,000 liters of a coolant of salt-water brine, piped through the refrigeration system