Red Bull X-Alps, the world’s toughest adventure race is returning July 2, 2017 for its eighth edition. Starting in Salzburg, 32 Athletes of 21 nationalities will race a straight-line distance of 1,138km across the Alps to Monaco via 7 turnpoints in 7 different countries, including a turnpoint in Slovenia for the first time in Red Bull X-Alps history.
Over the years, the race has attracted some of the world's top adventurers and has pushed them to their limits. It demands not only expert paragliding skills but extreme endurance, as some athletes will hike over 100km a day and gain 1000's of meters in altitude while flying.
Travelling only by foot or paraglider, their every move is monitored by advanced Live Tracking technology and broadcasted to an audience of millions. With constantly changing weather conditions, tactical planning is as important as the extreme endurance required to participate. For this reason, each athlete has a supporter to help with strategy, nutrition and everything in between. The role of the supporter is hugely important – they truly are the unsung heroes of the race.
“The Red Bull X-Alps is the definition of true adventure.” Gavin McClurg (Team USA1).
The 2015 edition saw 19 of the 32 athletes make the goal – a record number since the first race in 2003. Incredibly, 12 rookies crossed the finish line in Monaco, including athletes from Korea, New Zealand and elsewhere for the first time in history.
Before the main event, the one-day Leatherman Prologue race takes place in Salzburgerland. The top three finishers will each win an additional Ledlenser Night Pass, allowing them to race through the mandatory rest period. On day two of the main race, the usual 5:00am start will be delayed for each athlete by the time in which they finished the Leatherman Prologue race behind the prologue winner. In 2015, Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) won the Prologue in 2h 21m.
Swiss athlete Christian Maurer however, won the Red Bull X-Alps 2015 race in a time of 8 days, 4 hours and 37 minutes. It was his fourth successive win and a new record. Could 2017 see athletes like Sebastian Huber or Paul Guschlbauer end Maurer’s reign as Red Bull X-Alps champion? Only one thing is certain – anything could happen!