Prime Blog

February 2015

Red bull part two

In our recent blog article we explained how Jonathan had qualified for Red Bull Crashed Ice, here is how he got on…

So I found myself at the national finals of Red Bull Crashed Ice in Belfast. The track was situated on the drive leading up to Stormont parliament building, the scenery and position couldn’t have been any better. The track itself however was very intimidating, until this point I had only seen photos and it was quite hard to put into perspective how difficult the obstacles were going to be, seeing them in the flesh worried me.

During the safety briefing it became apparent that this was not a “jolly”, this was a very serious competitive sport. What also became clear were the risks involved, drops of over 40 metres and reaching speeds of 60km/h meant if we got this wrong it could end very badly!

We were taken through a couple of training runs where an instructor demonstrated how to approach and execute each obstacle; this was then followed by two full training runs, by yourself. Being on the track was a surreal experience, unlike anything I had done before.

I then had to set my time in order to qualify for the next round, from a heat consisting of 70 skaters as only the top 35 go onto the next round and race against the international skaters. I decided the best strategy would be to do one safe run and one risky run.

My safe run went well, I executed every obstacle, managed to stay on my skates and set a time of one minute flat. When I finished I was in 24th position and through to the next round, that was until everyone else had their turn. By the time everyone had been round the track I had gone down to 40th position, only 2.5 seconds behind the person in 35th position and a chance of qualification. I knew I had to go for it on my next run.

On my second run I decided to give it everything and really go for it. I jumped out the blocks and landed the first jump which meant I approached the first hill with speed. I sprinted down the next decline skating as hard as I could. Whilst sprinting, I approached the second obstacle (the dreaded Dutch mountains). My intention was to jump them completely (the alternative is to slow down and skate slowly over two) and I hit them at considerable speed. As soon as my skates left the ramp, I knew this was a bad Idea… I flew through the air for about 12ft and hit the ice, HARD! The paramedics came running over and instructed me not to move. Despite thinking I had broken my back, I was still determined to finish my lap and I managed to get back on my skates and wobbled to the finish line. I was so disappointed, I knew I hadn’t beaten my previous time.

I am glad I gave it everything in my attempt to qualify rather than regret not doing so. Even though I was eliminated my photo has since gone viral and has been posted on the Red Bull website. It is also being used as the poster picture for a Belfast based radio station.

I never expected to win the competition, I just wanted to come back with a funny story and a cool photo… so at the end of the day who cares about the prize money!

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