'Crashed Ice' through the eyes of an amateur competitor

11:48 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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Credit: USAToday Sports

ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- Brendan Bayers was extremely excited as he arrived at Red Bull Crashed Ice on Friday. He had ripped through the qualifying rounds and couldn't wait for his elimination race. He stood near the jaw-dropping starting drop and watched the international pros make training runs through the course. 

"Those guys have absolutely no fear, and now as a married man I got responsibilities, you know, I'm trying to survive, my theme right now is to live to walk another day type thing," he joked.  

Bayers, who raced last year, draws his comments from experience. He gained some notoriety last year when he flipped over the boards, which eliminated him. He says aside from talking with a skater who broke his arm yesterday, this year's course wasn't quite as scary as the one he tried in his inaugural season. "I would say there is a lot less carnage this year than there was last year, but there's still injuries, and still a lot of danger out there," he told KARE 11.  

Then why would he come back? "All of my family members ask that, why would you do that? When it comes down to it I like trying new things," the former hockey player said.  

The excited skater walked KARE's Scott Seroka through the course. This year's track has the big initial drop, a spot in front of the cathedral where some power skating was required, and then another scary drop with a knot at the bottom of it. That's when the guys get a head of steam into the upside down U before tumbling into the humpy, bumpy downhill finish.  

Bayers just wanted to make it to Saturday's finals, and skate in front of the estimated 80,000 person crowd. He had a little trouble after that initial drop.  

"Off the start I definitely got tangled up with some guys and wiped out early," he said, out of breath, at the finish line. His wife gave him a quick kiss, happy to see him in one piece. The couple will travel to Paris next week, and Bayers' wife didn't want him on crutches.

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