- Nationality: Romania
- Date of birth: 05. May. 1975
- Profession: Paragliding Instructor
- Supporter: Razvan Levarda
- Glider: TBC
- Every single Red Bull X-Alps has a few things in common: big mountains, long walks, high flights … and Toma Coconea. The Romanian is a legend of the race and is the only athlete to bring his own following of fans to watch his progress. Famous for his speed on the ground, Toma has been known to cover 100km in a day. His best place so far was finishing 2nd in 2011. He finished 10th in 2013, and had to pull out of Red Bull X-Alps 2015 due to injury. His dogged determinism brought him back for Red Bull X-Alps 2017, and he'll be looking in one direction from the moment he starts: forward!
- When and why did you begin paragliding?
I started flying in 1991 after I saw some French guys flying in the Parang Mountains and I started learning with them.
- Do you paraglide competitively? List rankings and events.
All Red Bull X-Alps editions, finishing 2nd twice, in 2007 and 2011; In X-Pyr 2014 3rd place; More times national champion.
- What is your mountaineering experience?
Part of a rescue mountain team in Romania. Summited Kilimanjaro, Anapurna, Alps and the Carpathian mountains.
- What is your paragliding experience?
Every single Red Bull X-Alps edition, the X-Pyr, National Championships.
- What is your adventure racing / endurance sport experience?
Red Bull X-Alps, Dolomiten Mann, Wings for Life and many other mountains marathons, X-Pyr.
- What does your typical training week consist of?
Hike and Fly, cross country flights, bivouac flights.
- What are your best and worst adventure/flying moments?
My best moments were when I got long flights in the Alps over the mountains, and the worst moment was in 2015, when I had a hard landing because of the strong wind in the valley and many rocks on the landing, but I had a fast recovery and I put this moment behind me very quickly.
- What are the sporting moments you are most proud of?
Winning second place in Red Bull X-Alps twice.
- When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
From the first edition in 2003, I knew that this kind of the competition is the suitable glove for me.
- Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
All the editions.
- What appeals to you about the Red Bull X-Alps?
Being in the Alps for a long Hike and Fly adventure represents me. This is what I love most; to be in the nature, on the ground or in the air and close to the clouds.
- What will be your strategy during the race?
To be more technical, and take every thing with responsibility and take care that on the other side of speed is the importance of strategy.
- On average, over a third of the Red Bull X-Alps participants fail to finish the event. Why do you think you will make it?
Thanks to the experience gained over the years in this competition, ambition, good physical and mental condition which I presently have.
- What scares you the most about the event?
- Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?
Yes, Red Bull X-Alps.