Runners brave the world's steepest race

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IRONWOOD, Mich. (WLUC) -- With a vertical incline between 35 and 39 degrees, contestants took to the hill to conquer the worlds steepest race in Red Bull's 400 Meter Race at Copper Peak ski jump in Ironwood, Michigan.

"Its a lot bigger in person that it is on TV, trust me," joked Charles Robinson, a Red Bull 400 Competitor from Chicago.

"Now that I'm here and looking up I'm looking forward to the challenge that we have in front of us," said William Wheeler, a Red Bull 400 Competitor from Georgia.

This was Robinson's second Red Bull 400 and Wheeler was in town with his Third Ranger Battalion of the United States Army.

In Copper Peak's first major event since 1994, and in front of a crowd of roughly 4,000 people, those competitors climbed the grass hill, crossed the race's halfway point, took a small ramp up to the ski jump and then climbed 40 stories to the top of Copper Peak, completing the 400 meters.

"You've to do it to actually learn what to do for it, so I did it a few times," said Robinson.

"It's a pretty easy day, 400 meters, two or three times, maybe," said Wheeler. "It's not that bad."

Four hundred and seventy competitors from 31 different states made the trip to Ironwood to participate in one of the most unique races in the world. They were happy to be in what they called, "God's country."

"I love the lakes, everybody's so nice, pure-hearted, kind and you don't find too many people like that, so it's great to come across people like that," said Robinson. "I love it."

The top 25 male and female competitors made it to the finals. The first-place mens competitor came in with a total time of only 4:45 and the women's first-place competitor came in with a total of 7:36.

For Robinson's second Red Bull 400, he said the competition is worth it.

"Just watching everybody attack the hill, I want to see everybody do as best they can," he said.

Those with Copper Peak hope to host the event again next year over the span of two days.

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