The Everyman: 6 New Running Events For The Winter Olympics

The slalom run has a lot of potential. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Why not make the Winter Games a bit more interesting?

Tuesday marked 100 days until the start of the Sochi Olympics.

What if we combined the Summer Games with the Winter Games? Here are a few ideas on how to make the next Winter Olympics feel like summer — with a running twist, of course.

Ice Sprinting

Just as the name implies, this would be a race on a slick sheet of ice. Gliding is not allowed, and competitors must wear running shoes — OK, we’ll let them wear track spikes for some more grip on the ice. This can be a 100m dash, since taking corners at top speed might not be the smartest move.

Snow Running

Again, we’re a master of the obvious here. This event should take place in the mountains where the temperature is cold and the snow is deep. We can take this one a bit further than a sprint — let’s say a 5K and a 10K. Two events, run on undulating terrain. We’re axing the track shoes and will only allow running shoes. But runners, feel free to throw on a pair of gators to keep the snow out.

Alpine Hill Climb

This event can be contested on the downhill skiing course. Only instead of starting at the summit and working their way down, athletes begin at the base of the mountain and run up. All Alpine rules apply, which includes going around the proper flags. And if you crash into the net, you’re done. My quads are burning just thinking about this one.

Slalom Run

Possibly my favorite event on this list, the slalom run follows the exact same rules as its Alpine cousin — except that competitors ditch their skis and poles for a pair of racing flats. Arm and shin guards are encouraged since those flags can sting quite a bit if you hit them at high speed. If you miss a flag, you’re disqualified and have to immediately do the Alpine hill climb.

Figure Running

This one is tricky and we’re not sure it’s even possible. While wearing a pair of track spikes, runners perform to a musical number and execute jumps, twirls, spins and other figure skating moves while running. Judges score each athlete based on … oh, who are we kidding? The athlete who doesn’t fall will most likely win the gold medal.

The Bobsled Push

You know how bobsledders sprint and push their sled at the start to give it some momentum on the icy track? This event is an entire run of pushing a sled. We’d obviously have to make some changes to the course, since pushing a sled while sprinting isn’t recommended on a high-banked turn. We’re thinking a 1500m straight track would work well. Track spikes are allowed.

Got any other ideas? Leave a comment below.

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