Battle of the blades

March 9, 2015

Alumna prepares for Red Bull Crashed Ice competition

IMAGE_STORY_Red_Bull2MacEwan University alumna Ashley Holt is gearing up for the thrill of a lifetime when Red Bull Crashed Ice makes its debut in downtown Edmonton this weekend.

Ashley may be a rookie when it comes to ice cross downhill, but she’s an expert on blades, having played five years on the Griffins women’s hockey team before graduating with a bachelor of science in 2014.

“I’m excited—it’s going to be such a huge adrenaline rush,” she says, adding that she’s been playing hockey and getting on the ice as much as she can to prepare for the competition.

Megan Vermillion, a bachelor of commerce student and three-time Red Bull Crashed Ice competitor, says that Ashley is definitely doing the right things, but it’s tough to prepare yourself to hurtle down 415 metres of ice track with drops, step-ups and no less than nine hairpin turns.

“Some people train on rollerblades or on snowblades at the ski hill, but it’s a completely different balancing technique and there’s really nothing that gives you exactly the same feel,” says Megan.

Her advice for Ashley come race day?

“Going down the hill is scary the first time, but you have to try to not let it get to you,” says Megan. “When you get the hang of it and can stay on your feet, it’s so much fun—you just want to go again and to go faster. It’s a bit like skydiving—you know there’s a risk, but you do it anyway for the adrenaline rush.”

Ashley says the track doesn’t intimidate her, and that her strategy for race day is simple—and all about speed. “I’m planning to start as fast as I can, try to keep my speed up and not fall down,” says Ashley.

Cheer on Ashley this weekend at Red Bull Crashed Ice.

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