It's all downhill for runners in Inov-8 descent race

Austria’s Markus Wiltschnigg led the runners braving the 80% gradient

Inov-8 Descent winner Carina Polzer (credit: David Hofer)

Inov-8 Descent winner Carina Polzer (credit: David Hofer)

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.

The rain and mud added an extra element of risk for daredevil competitors at the Inov-8 Descent Race in Austria last weekend (credit: Michael Werlberger)

The rain and mud added an extra element of risk for daredevil competitors at the Inov-8 Descent Race in Austria last weekend (credit: Michael Werlberger)

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.

.view-list .excerpt-thumb { display:block !important;