My experience

We sat down with Yael and talked about her first ever Red Bull X-Alps 2021. She told us about her highlights and stand-out moments and how the race compared to her previous experiences.

What was your highlight of the race?
My highlight of the race was the flight from Fiesch to Vouvry. The conditions were not ideal, of course, but it somehow worked, even with Föhn. I flew in this area so many times, but never experienced those conditions. Soaring up the cliffs of the Diablerets was epic and there were a lot of friends at the landing!

What was the toughest part for you?
The toughest part of this race for me is to make decisions. A bad decision on the route can lead to a lot more hikes, and I found it really hard to decide where to fly through sometimes. Also decisions about flying, being at take off under the rain and waiting while thinking some athletes would fly.

What was THE stand-out memory for you?
Stand out memory of the race was arriving on the Furka pass. It was a very emotional moment for me to arrive in my home turf and even though I arrived there by hiking, there was a strong team spirit and we shared a great moment.

How was this race in comparison to your other races?
This race was just crazy! It’s long, exhausting but also so monumental. I fly a lot in XC competitions and I can hardly compare it to that, except that we are flying! The Red Bull X-Alps wasn’t a fight against the other athletes for me (as it was hard to define how I could perform against men), but more a fight with myself, a battle between my physical and my mental strength.

Inside my race

Dive into Yael's day-to-day experience through the race news and social media updates to see what it takes to be a part of the world's toughest adventure race!

Phone home

Some of the remaining fifteen athletes competing in their home territory today.

SUI4 hiking during X-Alps on Säntis, Switzerland on June 25, 2021

The French athletes are leaving their homes behind on the way to Zell am See, but the Swiss, Austrian and Italian athletes are headed back to known territory. What does that do to the mind of an athlete?

SUI4 hiking during X-Alps on Furkapass, Switzerland on June 26, 2021
© zooom / Adi Geisegger

Day 11

Home in Verbier

SUI4 flying during X-Alps on Furkapass, Switzerland on June 27, 2021

Yael Margelisch (SUI4) just arrived in Verbier where she lives. Her supporter said this afternoon that it was her goal today to reach her hometown. She chose the north route from Mont Blanc for this reason: to be in her home country for the mental boost that gives. But also because the weather further south along the route in Italy was bad. 

Flying to Switzerland

Yael Margelisch (SUI4) has managed to launch as she said she would. It was very windy on the pass called Pré de Bar, but a bit more down it is flyable. She is looking to get as far as she can today towards Verbier, her hometown.

Going home

SUI4 hiking during X-Alps on Furkapass, Switzerland on June 27, 2021

Yael Margelisch (SUI4) is putting up a great fight at the back of the mid-pack in 18th place. She has chosen to go north after rounding Turnpoint 10 Mont Blanc, because that route leads into Switzerland. Her supporter said: "We want to get to Verbier today, where Yael is from." She is a bit tired but ok, he added.

Day 7

Side by side

Athletes hiking during X-Alps on Säntis, Switzerland on June 25, 2021

Laurie Genovese (FRA4) and Yael Margelisch (SUI4) are in 22nd and 23rd and have been hiking together this morning. They both have 782km to go – next Tunrpoint TP7 Fiesch - Aletsch Arena. They both take a radically different line - it looks like they going all-in on the good flying forecast. They've gone way off-route to connect with the paragliding highway of the upper Rhine Valley. Fast if it works - but potentially punishing if it doesn't.

Day 3

Yael checks TP4

Yael Signboad

Yael Margelisch (SUI4) just checked-in at TP4 Chiemgau-Achental. She is currently in 22nd position.

Day 1

The Red Bull X-Alps is on!

Race Start

And they are off! The start of a 12-day race across the European Alps. From the centre of Salzburg to Mont Blanc and back – a distance of 1238km. Incredible scenes here as just minutes ahead of the start the entire field of athletes sang Happy Birthday for Tom de Dorlodot (BEL). That is the true spirit of the Red Bull X-Alps right there. We look forward to a fast, exciting and safe race over the next two weeks. We are here for the duration – follow Live Tracking and don't miss a second!