The Red Bull X-Alps is the world's toughest adventure race. It's a bold claim – but one it surely deserves. It's difficult to think of another race that demands such a high level of fitness and technical skill – or lasts so long.
The rules are simple. Athletes must race across the Alps, by foot or paraglider, a straight-line distance of around 1,000km. Over the years, the race has attracted and tested to the limit some of the world's top adventurers. It demands not only expert paragliding skill but extreme endurance. Some athletes will hike over 100km in a day and will cover hundreds of kilometers on foot – and 1000's of meters in altitude – by the time the race is over!
Each team consists of one athlete and one supporter. No technical or outside assistance is allowed. The supporter is just there to help with logistics, strategy, food, medical support and provide psychological assistance, basically everything except carry their athlete! (The role of the supporter is actually hugely important – they are the unsung heroes of the race.)
Athletes can race between the hours of 05:00 to 22:30. Since 2013, athletes have been able to pull a 'Night Pass' that allows them to push-on through the night on foot. The next race will start on July 5th, 2015. The route will be announced on March 19th.
“The Red Bull X-Alps is the definition of true adventure.” Gavin McClurg (Team USA2).