RUN247 / Running News / Mountain Running News / Alpine Rainstorm Makes Inov-8 Descent Race Even Tougher

Alpine Rainstorm Makes Inov-8 Descent Race Even Tougher

Published on

One of the world’s most daredevil sporting events took place at the weekend as runners plunged down a near-vertical ski slope. Brave entrants from across Europe took part in the inov-8 Descent Race on the legendary Streif – a slope on the Hahnenkamm mountain in Kitzbuhel (Austria) that has a gradient of 80% and is regarded as the toughest on the world cup ski circuit.

The second staging of the annual race was held amid an alpine rainstorm, making the course extremely muddy, so inov-8, with their famed super-grippy graphene-enhanced shoes, proved a very appropriate sponsor.

The men’s winner was Markus Wiltschnigg who, despite suffering a shoulder injury, proved to be the master of the downhill mud. The 27-year-old trail runner from Styria in Austria claimed the €300 cash prize and said: “I ran as fast as I could and took chances. I have no regrets at all. What a race!”

Men's winner Markus Wiltschnigg inov-8 descent race
Men’s winner Markus Wiltschnigg (image by Michale Werlberger)

Entrants of all abilities started at one-minute intervals from the iconic ski house on the mountain summit. They then weaved their way down the hill, on a 350m course marked by ski flags.

Each runner completed it twice, with their times added together for the overall results. Markus flew down in 58.54secs and then 56.87secs for a combined winning time of 1min 55.32secs.

Fastest woman down the treacherous slope was Carina Polzer, who made it look easy with times of 1min 22.40secs and 1min 21.24secs. Her combined time of 2mins 43.64secs put her ninth overall.

The 23-year-old Austrian international orienteer, who is studying medicine in Innsbruck, also won €300. She said: “It was my first downhill-only race. I was nervous, but once I jumped out of the start-house I found my legs and shoes capable of handling the demanding course. I was able to switch off my head and just follow my feet down the hill. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to do it all again!”

If you want to see just how steep the Descent Race is, take a look at this video from inov-8’s Instagram post:

The race was organised by Georg Uberall, an outdoor sports retailer from Kitzbuhel, who said: “The conditions were certainly special, so I was all the more pleased that so many came to race and that everything went well.”

Lee Procter, Communications & Ambassadors Manager for inov-8, added: “Everyone got to grips with the muddy course and demonstrated both skill and bravery to tame the world’s toughest ski slope. We loved seeing everyone play dirty in the mud, share in the camaraderie of the day and, in some cases, overcome fears. We look forward to returning to Kitzbuhel in 2020.”

Results (top-3). Men: 1. Markus Wiltschnigg (1:55:32), 2. Daniel Hauser (2:12:33), 3. Moritz Mayer (2:18:06). Women: 1. Carina Polzer (2:43:64), 2. Lisa Kroll (2:57:00), 3. Lena Sulzenbacher (3:48:40).

Header image of Carina Polzer by Andreas Aufschnaiter

Written by
Kirsty Reade

Latest Running News

marathon des Sables stage one 2024 photo credit Ian Corless / MDS
Marathon des Sables 2024 stage one – Moroccan stars dominate
Jasmin Paris climbing Barkley Marathons loop three 2023 photo credit: Davidmillerphotography_ on Instagram
How Jasmin Paris trained for Barkley Marathons with ‘completely bonkers’ hill repeats and much more
A runner in the 2022 Marathon des Sables
Marathon des Sables: The route conundrum also posed by the Barkley Marathons
Jasmin Paris Andy Jackson
Momentum grows for trail running inclusion at 2032 Olympic Games
Barkley Marathons 2024 five finishers photo credit Keith Dunn on X
Greig Hamilton – Barkley finisher #19 on his “really enjoyable time in the woods”
trail running on your terms

Never miss out with our trail alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.

Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...