IRONWOOD — As an energy drink producer continues to promote extreme sports, the Upper Peninsula was home to one of three major competitions taking place over the weekend. Among those participating, was Houghton morning disc jockey, John Carroll from 97.7 The Wolf.
Carroll raised money for charity over the weekend as he joined over 400 athletes who competed in the Red Bull 400 Copper Peak Competition.
“We are running up Copper Peak for DDIY, ‘Don’t Do It Yourself.’ It’s an organization in Houghton that helps out local families in the area with out of town medical expenses. If somebody has some kind of emergency and they have to go to Ann Arbor, Marshfield, Mayo something like that, DDIY steps in and helps out where insurance companies cut off,” said Carroll.
Located in Ironwood, Copper Peak is the only ski flying hill in the Western Hemisphere. Saturday’s events included 18 heats of up to 25 runners at a time who made their way up the earthed slope, grasping to a ground net for stability and then onto the base of the tower for the final 100 meters of the 400 meter climb.
The challenge proved to be too much for several contestants who called it quits early. Others made it to the top, out of breath, and few stopped for oxygen after crossing the finish line.
“I finished. That was number one on the list was finishing the run. I did not finish last in the heat so I’m happy about that. Happy to do it to help out DDIY,” said Carroll.
Although, it has not been used for its intended purpose since 1994, plans are in the works to re-establish the facility as an active ski jump, and it would also host summer training exercises and competitions.
“Our community is working hard to hold events and bring excitement to the area. How do you not jump in on the excitement like this? This is awesome. Thank you Red Bull and thank you to the guys from Copper Peak for keeping it going and bringing some excitement and energy to the area,” said Scott Behrendt, a volunteer from Presque Isle, Wisconsin.
Renovations would be required prior to reopening, including resurfacing the tower and slope, at an estimated cost of over $12 million.