Meet the Lady Who Simply Gained the World’s Hardest 400-Meter Race – Health Tips For Women

Most races finish with medals, snack baggage, and photograph opps. The Pink Bull 400 ends with oxygen masks and a staff of volunteers able to catch careening contributors.

“It felt like I had a weight on my chest,” Anna Mooi, the ladies’s winner of the latest Ironwood, Michigan, version of the Pink Bull 400, tells SELF of the excruciating moments after her victory. She grabbed an outstretched hand, took a number of deep inhales from an oxygen masks, threw her arms over the railing, and stood above the huge ski ramp she’d someway simply conquered in slightly greater than seven minutes. “It was very surreal.”

The Pink Bull 400 is only a quarter-mile lengthy, but it surely’s nothing in need of brutal.

Individuals ascend 40 tales in 400 meters in what’s arguably the world’s hardest shortest race.

There are 17 editions of this tough-as-hell occasion at ski resorts all over the world, and the inaugural Ironwood outpost, hosted this 12 months on Could 12 at Copper Peak, marks one in every of three in North America. Cooper Peak is the most important synthetic ski soar within the U.S.—and it’s additionally the steepest ramp of all Pink Bull 400 races.

Right here’s a video to provide you a style of the torture—er, race course:

About 450 courageous souls tried the race in Ironwood, and Mooi, an area resident, needed to full the course twice in someday so as to clinch first place.

The competitors featured 18 preliminary heats, every with 25 racers. The quickest 25 women and men, together with Mooi, then superior to a ultimate males’s and ultimate ladies’s race, held later that very same day.

All races started with a short—very transient—run, which regardless of being simply 10 to 20 meters lengthy, was “fairly a bit difficult” for Mooi, due to a lingering IT band harm. Then the climbing started.

Mooi and her rivals actually clawed their method up the primary half of the course with the assistance of a cargo web. “This was actually useful,” says Mooi of the sunshine blue netting. “You might use extra upper-body power and save your legs for the second half,” which concerned beleaguered bear crawls up a picket incline with 2×2 boards nailed crossways serving as steps. She, and lots of different racers, wore workman’s gloves to forestall splinters and in addition make the rope grabs extra snug.

Mike Tittel / Pink Bull Content material Pool


As she ascended the picket ramp as shortly as her legs and arms would enable, “my aim was to maintain going and hold wanting ahead,” says Mooi. “And that’s what I did.”

Each occasions, her lungs had a special concept.

“The factor that harm the worst for me—greater than leg cramps—was my lungs,” says Mooi. “I don’t have bronchial asthma and have all the time thought my lung capability was good, however I developed a cough [from the lack of oxygen] that actually carried via for the entire day.”

As for the second go-around: “I used to be dreading it,” says Mooi. “I actually didn’t need to do it a second time. All of us [in the final heat] had been like, We’ve got to do that once more?!

Fortunately, she had about 4 and a half hours in between the makes an attempt, throughout which she foam rolled, stretched, “ran round slightly bit,” and napped. “It was very not like me to nap, however I wanted it,” says Mooi.

And when it got here time to race once more, Mooi overcame her worry and dug deep. “I’m fairly aggressive,” says Moi, who was in fifth place on the mid-way mark. The course then flattened out for a small portion earlier than the picket ramp started, and that’s when Mooi made a transfer. “I knew that if I needed to be first, I needed to make it to the ramp first and I used to be someway in a position to go round everybody.”

Towards the very finish, as her lungs burned and she or he gasped for air, the throngs of cheering onlookers and promise of $1,000 in prize cash incentivized her to maintain pushing. She completed in 7 minutes and 15 seconds, which was 45 seconds quicker than her prelim time. “Despite the fact that I used to be dreading it, the second time felt simpler,” says Mooi.

It took about three or 4 minutes post-finish to completely catch her breath, says Mooi, and one other complete day earlier than she may inhale deeply once more. “It was like a tickle was trapped in my chest,” she says.

Mike Tittel / Pink Bull Content material Pool

Mooi prepped for this intense problem with plenty of weight coaching and cross-training.

A former aggressive swimmer, Mooi began operating and cross-country snowboarding for health three years in the past when she moved to Ironwood. “I additionally prefer to bike, hike, backpack, and canoe,” she says. “I’m very energetic to start with, and just about by no means observe a strict coaching plan of any kind. I’m all about cross-training.”


This 12 months, her cross-training concerned cross-country snowboarding and long-distance operating. Mooi was planning to run a marathon—till she strained her IT band. The harm was dangerous for her operating (she dropped out of the marathon), however “good for Pink Bull,” says Mooi, as a result of she then spent extra time doing actions that higher ready her for the problem, like biking, mountaineering, and stair-stepping. A few month earlier than the race, she started a once-a-week, intense lower-body weight coaching sequence, which consisted of a 5- to 6-set circuit of deadlifts, squats, and leg presses, with 6 to eight reps of every transfer in each set.

The one factor she didn’t do: practice on the mountain itself. “I needed it to be a shock,” says Mooi. And apart from, “how do you even put together for one thing like that?” she provides. “It’s such a special race.”

Her post-victory celebrations had been decidedly low-key.

She referred to as her household to share the information and although she doesn’t drink beer, she went to an area brewery to hold with mates. The following day, with comparatively few aches and pains, she tackled a 13-mile hike, the longest she’s performed all 12 months.

So what’s subsequent for this badass athlete? “Nicely, I’ve to defend my title,” Mooi says with fun. “Give me slightly time and I might be prepared for it once more.” Someway, we have now a hunch that Mooi received’t want a lot time in any respect.

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