The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Red Bull taps Copper Peak for race site

 

January 17, 2018

Submitted photo

A POSTER for the Red Bull 400 provided by Copper Peak. The ski jump will host the race this spring.

By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood Township - Competition is returning to Copper Peak. But this time athletes will be vying to get to the top, rather than the bottom, of the ski hill.

Copper Peak has been selected as one of the competition sites to kick off the 2018 Red Bull 400 season, which is billed as the world's steepest 400-meter race.

On May 12, competitors will start at the base of Copper Peak's landing hill, racing up it before attempting to be the first to conquer the structure itself.

"I would say the biggest challenge an athlete faces is the steepness of the hill," professional trainer Charles "Traps" Robinson said in a trailer for the Copper Peak race on YouTube, "And if you haven't trained on that hill before, you don't know what to expect."

"The nearly vertical race challenges participants' speed and endurance, and is guaranteed to put the participants' calves, quads and fitness to the ultimate test," a news release announcing the race reads.

The event will mark the first time an international competition takes place at Copper Peak since it closed in 1994.

"Copper Peak historically is a place where athletes push the limits of athletic ability and break records," said Charlie Supercynski, president of Copper Peak's board of directors, in the announcement. "We were used to seeing people fly off Copper Peak, not sprint up the jump. This brings a whole new element of competition and a great first event in the start of the revitalization of Copper Peak."

Built in 1969, Copper Peak hosted 10 international ski flying competitions between 1970 and 1994. Efforts to bring international ski flying competition back to the hill continue, with a bill in the Michigan legislature to secure funding to pay for the work needed to modernize the ski jump and bring Copper Peak up to current competitive standards.

Copper Peak is one of three events kicking off the 2018 Red Bull 400 season on May 12, according to the schedule on Red Bull's website, and will be one of only two U.S. locations to host an event this year. A total of 17 races will be held in a variety of locations around the world during the season, including Whistler Mountain in Canada, Park City in Utah, Trondheim in Norway and Sochi Russia.

Registration is currently open for the Copper Peak event, with 400 spaces available in seven registration categories.

Visit redbull400.com for registration and race information.

 
 

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