Tomorrow, October 14th the world finds out who’s going to compete in the 10th edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, which kicks off June 20th, 2021. We’ll find out which 33 athletes from around the globe get to spend most of their waking hours over the next 9 months getting physically and mentally prepared for what’s billed as the toughest adventure race on Earth.
Today is the day. With less than 40 days to go until the gun goes off in Salzburg it’s time to pack the bags and head to Europe, where I’ll have a full month to keep up the physical training and fly as much of the course as possible with Bruce Marks, my air-support guru in the race. I’ve got a quick stop at the Mountain Film Fest in Telluride this weekend with a couple screenings of North of Known, then Monday I’m on a plane. The flying in Europe all spring has been epic which has frankly been tortuous to watch. Sun Valley has been kind to us after a massive winter with a lot of flyable days, but we haven’t had a big day or an easy day yet. Ratty thermals, lots of wind, low base- ie perfect training!
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what the physical training looks like for what is known as the “toughest adventure race on Earth”, the Red Bull X-Alps. As it says on the X-Alps website: It’s a bold claim – but one it surely deserves. It’s difficult to think of another race that demands such a high level of fitness and technical skill – or lasts so long. The combination of trekking and paragliding is one of the most exciting hybrids to emerge from the ongoing convergence of mountain sports.