Thousands show for Crashed Ice

4:49 PM, Jan 26, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - In a bitterly cold night, thousands of people witnessed one of the most unique sporting events around.

Red Bull Crashed Ice is a mix of hockey and hysteria and Friday night, fans could not get enough of the races, which were located next to the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Barb and Jim Briggs, of Shoreview, were just some of the fans who showed. The couple passed on the event last year, but they said they had to experience it this year.

The two found a spot to watch in one of the most treacherous locations for skaters on the course, with a giant drop off right in front of Briggs'.

"It is kind of a good spot. You're right by the cathedral and you've got three hospitals close by if something's going to happen, you're in good hands," she said with a smile.

Friday was the team competition where skaters from around the world, including here in Minnesota, hurled themselves down a sheet of ice about 1,300 feet long.

"This is the part they come over this top, oh my goodness," she said as one skater rushed by her.

The course, which wrapped around the cathedral, is bigger, specifically steeper than it was last year. It left a lot of fans to wonder, why would anyone do this?

"I wouldn't do it. You couldn't pay me enough," said Jim Briggs. "They're going like mach-4. I don't know how they stand up straight."

Organizers expect record breaking crowds for the weekend, 80,000 on Saturday alone.

"I was on their website today and they were showing Niagara Falls, some place in the Netherlands," she said of the Red Bull Crashed Ice. "And I was like this is kind of like a big deal."

A big deal that many believe belongs in the State of Hockey, just ask one of its representatives.

"Well, I think it's just fun," said Barb. "I just think this is so exciting, I mean it's such a beautiful venue."

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