RED BULL X-ALPS

Spirit of adventure

The Red Bull X-Alps is the world’s toughest adventure race. It’s a fiercely contested battle across the Alps lasting almost two weeks in which around 30 athletes run, hike and fly by paraglider up to 150km a day passing set Turnpoints positioned across iconic mountains and famous resorts. With athletes often hiking up to 4,000m of vertical ascent a day and running as much as 100km on foot, it’s not only an incredible test of physical endurance but it has become recognized as the supreme test for the world’s best hike-and-fly athletes.

The Red Bull X-Alps is only open to the world’s best paraglider pilots and adventure athletes, but uniquely it is a race where men and women compete equally. The race was founded in 2003 by the late adventurer Hannes Arch and has taken place every two years since then. The 2023 edition will therefore mark the 20th anniversary of the iconic race.

 

 

THE CONCEPT

From Dawn Till Dusk

Every edition of the Red Bull X-Alps features a different route over the Alps that crosses remote mountain chains and valleys and passes famous resorts and peaks. Traditionally the race began in Salzburg and finished in Monaco. However, for the 10th edition of the race in 2021, organisers updated the format to create an out-and-back route from Salzburg to Mt Blanc and back to Zell am See via 12 Turnpoints in five countries. At 1,238km it was the longest route in the race’s history.

Athletes race from 05:00 until 22:00 but they can only fly during daylight hours between 06:00 to 21:00. Overnight, a mandatory rest period is in place and athletes cannot move from their location. However, each athlete is equipped with a Night Pass, which allows them to break the curfew once. This can help to gain a strategic advantage, but it comes at the cost of additional fatigue. From day four and every 48 hours thereafter, the athlete in last place is eliminated.

Competitors

Champions and challengers

The lineup of the Red Bull X-Alps is always a global mix of veterans and rookies and recently, between male and female athletes. The last seven editions have been won by the Swiss athlete Christian Maurer or ‘Chrigel the Eagle’ as he has become known to the race’s legion of fans and followers. In the early years his victories were conclusive and unchallenged, but with every edition, the competition gets a big closer. Rookies have stood on the podium in every year of the race and today Maurer finds himself threatened as never before by a number of athletes capable of outperforming him in the air and on the ground. With the sheer number of variables, from the weather to route decisions, the Red Bull X-Alps is a race where anything can – and frequently does happen. Toma Coconea is the only athlete to have competed in every edition since 2003. Every athlete has an official supporter to provide strategic help, weather and route advice, and physical and psychological care, making this truly a team race.

Live Tracking

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Join the adventure with Live Tracking

The Red Bull X-Alps is a race tailor made for online followers. At the heart of the adventure lies Live Tracking, which allows fans to follow their favorite athletes in real time thanks to advanced GPS trackers – and even join them in the cockpit for a POV view.

Fans can watch the race unfold in real time and see whether an athlete is hiking or flying, explore their tracks and analyse other metrics such as speed, altitude, distance-to-go and more.

Explore Live Tracking here!

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