In the Red Bull X-Alps, it’s often a case of mind over matter…

Simon Oberrauner (AUT2) prepares during the Red Bull X-Alps in Grubigstein, Austria on June 19, 2019

By day six of the Red Bull X-Alps, some of the athletes have covered well over 1,000km, whether in the air or pushing hard on foot. They have been rained on and faced with gruelling flying conditions. They have had to think fast and move faster. They are sleep deprived and their bodies ache from the strain.
And so it’s now that the head game really comes into play. When you’re exhausted, but you still have hundreds of kilometres ahead of you, how do you keep going?
Sometimes, it simply means changing your goals. Simon Oberrauner (AUT2) is currently suffering from severe ear pain while flying and climbing. But rather than quit the race, he’s just altered his plan. ‘I have decided to take it easy,’ he says. ‘The goal is no longer to go as fast as possible. Instead, I will just race efficiently and go at the pace my body wants me to.' Despite this, he is still going well and is currently in 11th place.
But you also need to take the race one step at a time. As Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1), currently in third, says: ‘When you leave Salzburg, you don’t want to be thinking about how difficult the route is going to be, or the huge scale of the task. Mentally, just think about what’s immediately in front of you. Be prepared for the whole route, but take it one step at a time, one flight at a time. Just keep going. Move.’

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