Inov-8 Descent Race

Watch below as the winner hurls himself down the 350m course with a gradient of 80%

Brave runners took on an insane 80% gradient in a downhill-only sprint race on the world’s most notorious ski slope last weekend.

The Inov-8 Descent Race saw adrenaline-lovers hurl themselves down the 350m slope on Hahnenkamm mountain in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

As if that weren’t hair-raising enough, a rainstorm meant competitors had to contend with mud too - fully testing the Inov-8 graphene grip shoes in which most runners were kitted out for free. Runners of all abilities had two attempts at the challenge, set off at one-minute intervals before weaving their way through the ski flags to the bottom.

Austrian daredevil Markus Wiltschnigg was the overall winner, clocking 58.54 and 56.87 seconds respectively for his two runs down the mountain. He said: “I ran as fast as I could and took chances. I have no regrets at all. What a race!”

Fastest woman in ninth overall was Austrian Carina Polzer, who was timed at 82.40 and 81.24 for her two attempts. 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!”

The race is set to take place in a third annual instalment next year.