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Red Bull Crashes into St. Paul

01/26/2015, 2:00pm CST
By Jessi Pierce

It's hard to miss a giant track -- lit in an ice blue at night -- snaking out from the front of the St. Paul Cathedral and through parts of downtown. 

It's even harder to miss the mobs of people making their way toward the track to witness skaters flying at 48 miles per hour over icy terrain -- including mogals and jumps -- all for the growth of the sport known as ice cross downhill. Minnesotans might simply just know it as Red Bull Crashed Ice. 

For the third straight year, the capitol city hosted the adrenaline-fueled event. This year, warm weather brought a record-setting 140,000 spectators out to Saturday's finals. Not that freezing weather has ever stopped fans from setting their sights on one extreme sport.

"There's really nothing like it," said Sever Lundquist, who has competed in St. Paul's Crashed Ice event the past three years. "For me it's a great mix of hockey and snowboarding."

Lundquist, a native of Cloquet, said training involves not only hockey and snowboarding skills, but speed. Racers in Red Bull Crashed Ice can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour.

"I had my brother pull me on skates behind a snowmobile on our lake," Lundquist said of his preparation. "You get moving pretty quickly."

Which leads to the "crashed" part of the event. How bad can that be?

"It depends on the fall," said former Edina hockey player Emma Kreiter, who was competing in her first Crashed Ice. "Some of them aren't so bad, but some can really knock the wind out of ya."

For friends Teddy, Lars, Hendrick, and Alex -- a group of local Squirts -- the falls are the best part.

"There's lots of falls, it's pretty funny," the group said with a laugh.

When asked if they wanted to participate once old enough it was a quick and unanimous "Yes!"

Participating or not, Red Bull Crashed Ice is one event that we're proud to be a part of in the State of Hockey.

"I've always kind of been an adrenaline junkie and mixing that with hockey -- which is my favorite sport -- there's nothing better," Lundquist said. "The heart-pounding feeling right when you start out, and doing it in front of thousands and thousands of people, that can't be beat." 



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