Crashed Ice strides back to St. Paul

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2012 - 8:56 PM

Event that drew 80,000 spectators last winter will be brought back Jan. 24-26.

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Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship in St. Paul.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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The Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship is skating back into St. Paul this winter.

It will be the second year in which daring athletes, many from Canada and Europe, compete on a twisting, four-story ice track with the Cathedral of St. Paul in the backdrop. The inaugural event last January drew about 80,000 spectators.

The 2013 version will be held Jan. 24-26, said Joe Campbell, spokesman for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

It will be one of a handful of worldwide stops during the championship. An official announcement will be made Nov. 14, Campbell said Thursday.

More than 160 qualifiers tried their luck on the ice during the previous event. Even Mayor Coleman took a spin but had trouble staying upright through the ride, in which some skaters reached speeds of 40 miles per hour. One Crashed Ice racer was sent to a hospital with leg fractures after wiping out during a practice run.

The bobsled-like track started next to the cathedral and zipped racers across the church's front steps, then over a temporary bridge crossing John Ireland Boulevard and down a hill to the finish line near Interstate 35E.

Next year's course will be similar, Campbell said.

St. Paul has a history of hosting Red Bull events. In 2010, more than 90,000 people gathered along the Mississippi River at Harriet Island during the Red Bull Flugtag competition to witness homemade flying machines glide and in most cases dive into the river. In 2007, 50 people rode on a 4,400-foot track in the city's skyway system.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495 Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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