The last bastion of amateur sport – The Cresta Run

The last time we covered this event was back 2006 – The world was a very different place then. But I’m pleased to report that during this time things haven’t changed much.

The World famous Cresta Run is held every year in Switzerland’s glitziest town. The St Moritz Tobogganing Club is well over 125 years old and for those with suitable dosh, dash and clean underpants – it’s the ultimate adrenalin fuelled thrill.

Blue–ribbon event

The Grand National is the blue–ribbon event of the short Cresta Run Tobogganing season in St Moritz in Switzerland. The event has been described as ‘the last bastion of amateur sport’ and is the only toboggan run in the world devoted to head-first sledding.

Each year 21 brave riders make three runs down the World famous course. It has ten corners and is 0.75 miles (1.2 km) long. Riders can reach a brain-rattling speed of 80mph.

Unlike a bobsled track, which is man-made with high-banked corners the Cresta is hand-made from natural ice with no concrete or wood support. It has a 514ft drop in altitude and its banked curves, given descriptive names like ‘the horseshoe’ ‘Stream corner’ and ‘Shuttlecock.’

‘Shuttlecock’ is most notorious and feared part of the course. It’s a sweeping left-hander with relatively shallow banking. If they approach it too fast, and many do they end up coming off often damaging themselves, if not their pride.

The Run is an extreme sport that provides a thrill according to members unlike any other. Riders have reached speeds of up to 80mph.  Completely bonkers when you think that they are laying on little more than a tea tray, with leather knee and elbow pads, gloves with metal plates, helmet, chin guard and spiked boots.

Every rider who crashes at Shuttlecock automatically becomes a member of the Shuttlecock Club, and is entitled to wear a special tie for bragging rights.

All competitors taken on the challenge at their own risk and must sign a liability disclaimer before taking part.

If you have a liking for the unusual, check out our other blog posts