Red Bull X-Alps

Toma Coconea's Carpathian hike and fly

Red Bull X-Alps legend Toma Coconea is training hard for the 2017 edition of the race. We caught up with him and asked how things are going.

© Toma Coconea

What’s been happening for you over summer?

After being completely recovered I have started training for Red Bull X-Alps 2017. I'm using a new paraglider type now and hope it will help me gain more speed and be competitive next year.

Tell us about your volbiv trip in the Carpathian mountains? 

I decided to make the trip, in the Red Bull X-Alps style, by passing the Carpathians. I’ve started my trip in the south, in Baile Herculane, passed the Parang, Retezat, Sureanu and Fagaras mountains until I have arrived in Bucegi. From there I left for Apuseni. I flew about 700km in one week. 

Longest flight? What did you learn?

Around 100km was the longest. I’ve learnt to be more patient, to wait for the good flying conditions. During the winter I’m planning to go to the Himalaya and train there. And in spring I will train in the Alps, doing hike and fly.

What are the Carpathian mountains like? Wild? 

Yes, we are happy to still have some wilderness in Romania. I left only with my rucksack – stayed with the villagers, and in sheep shelters, etc.

How is your endurance fitness? 

Almost same as it was before. Even when I couldn’t run that much, I was walking a lot, hiking, just to be prepared for the proper training.

How are you feeling about Red Bull X-Alps 2017? 

I’m happy to return. I have learnt a lot from the previous year’s mistakes. I will have a new supporter next year and hope for the best.