Kijiji, Videotron Mobile, Crashed Ice – it’s all the same to me

Kijiji, Videotron Mobile, Crashed Ice – it’s all the same to me

Busy weekend in Quebec City this past weekened (when is it ever not?)

We had the St Patrick’s Day Parade and all the musical events that go with it, the many participants and work behind the scenes, and not to mention the small matter of Red Bull Crashed Ice.

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We were contacted by the organisers, offered press passes and the opportunity to try the new Kijiji and Vidéotron Mobile track at Place Quebec V in Quebec City.

The track itself is dwarfed by the main Red Bull Crashed Ice track close by and is very much a baby by comparison.

But not for some, so let’s set the scene.

I am a nearly 40-year old man, slightly overweight, was once reasonably fit, and moved to Canada from Great Britain some 5 short years ago.

I skate about as well as a halibut plays a bass guitar.

I laced up a pair of skates for the first time in my new adopted country and a mere 2 years ago, was invited (I’d prefer to use the term coerced) to attempt to play hockey.

‘But I don’t know how to turn around, or even stop’, I protested.
‘Don’t worry, you’ll not need to, use the boards’ came the reply from CBC Radio’s extremely persuasive Peter Black, the organiser of the Saturday night recreational hockey gang I’ve become part of.

And so later in life, the love affair with ice, hockey, sticks, pucks, and all things skating began.

Kijiji and Vidéotron Mobile Track Day

Getting ready to go. Photo credit: Farnell Morisset.

Getting ready to go. Photo credit: Farnell Morisset.

The week leading up to the event went by in a flash. I built up energy with the help of chicken wings, fries, and Sleeman Cream Ale.
I needed the carbs and thought that the extra padding might come in handy.

After a restless night the morning came. So this was it, the first time in my life I’d skate along ice that wasn’t exactly horizontal.

I took one look at the 95-100 metre track and didn’t like the look of the start. A steep descent (more than I’m used to anyway), snaking turns, and a couple of jumps thrown in for good measure.

I brought along good friend and sometime Life in Québec photographer, Kevin Boden.

I didn’t want to do this alone (as no one would believe me) and wanted to share the experience with someone of similar size.

Once the waiver had been signed it was time to get dressed into hockey gear.
The organisers wouldn’t let you go down it unless you were fully kitted out.

With everything laced up, taped up, and secured into place it was time to climb the stairs.

Greenfield_Boden_Crashed_Ice_2014Trembling and not really knowing what to expect I reached the top.

The team member at the summit counted us down. 3-2-1 GO!

And the descent had begun.

The twists, the turns, OMFG the jumps.

And then it was over.

‘Want to go again?’ asked Kevin.
‘I do indeed’.

So we did, getting more and more confident with each descent.

The run is over in about 10 seconds or so. No time to think. But the heart pumps fast and the jumps are in front of you before you know it. One serious adrenaline rush.

I got to go down the track 4 or 5 times, each time getting more confident and adventurous. There were a few falls and slams into the boards, but all in all it was well worth it.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. It was mental and one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve done. But I would do it again and it makes me wonder if one day I’d get to go down the big one, big daddy, the main Red Bull Crashed Ice track itself.

Greenfield_Boden_Kijiji_run_2014_3

Greenfield_Kijiji_run_2014

After I’d finished and got changed again I had the opportunity to speak with M. Patrice Drouin, President of Gestev, the Red Bull Crashed Ice organiser and the man responsible for putting on the main event in Quebec City.

He told me that there’s a mountain of planning that goes into bringing an event of this size and nature to Quebec City.

The track takes around 3 weeks to build, 1 week to ice over and regulate the temperature, and a week or so to dismantle at the end.

The is all done with the cooperation of local residents, businesses, and planning at federal, provincial, and city level. Parts of the track encroach on to areas of the city that come under the jurisdiction of all three administrative areas of responsibility.

So no mean feat to put an event of this size on.

I’m pretty sure the athletes, the 100,000 or so spectators in attendance, and the millions who watched on TV and the Internet around the world were pretty glad the evening itself all went like clockwork.

Will Red Bull Crashed Ice be back next year? I for one hope so, and would give anything (well almost) to be able to go down the track they’d build.

Roll on 2015.

Big thanks to Kijiji Quebec and Vidéotron Mobile for organising the day.

And you can watch the video here:

Greenfield_Boden_Kijiji_run_2014_3

Categories: News

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind LifeinQuebec.com and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

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