10 things you didn’t know about Red Bull X-Alps

The world’s toughest adventure race is back for 2017. Here are 10 reasons it’s going to be amazing.
By Alexandra McCarthy

Red Bull X-Alps is undoubtedly the world's toughest adventure race, and it's back on July 2, 2017, for the eighth edition. Competitors must travel by foot or paraglider across the most extreme terrains – Racing from Salzburg in Austria all the way to Monaco – making endurance and tactical planning the key to success.

1. For the first time ever, the Red Bull X-Alps route will cover seven turn points through seven countries

Starting from Austria and heading through Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France the route will be tougher than ever before.

2. Slovenia is the latest country to be added to the route

The new addition to the route will mean participants will have to traverse four times between the northern and southern fringes of Europe’s largest mountain range.

3. The race distance is in an extreme 1,138km

Starting from Salzburg, 32 top athletes will fly and hike their way to the end point in Monaco.

4. The are three fewer turnpoints in 2017

This means distances between turnpoints will be longer than the last seven editions of the race, so endurance is more important than ever.

5. Participants will reach heights of 2,864m above sea level

The first Slovenian turnpoint, Triglav, will also bring the challenge of new terrain, which could make all the difference in gaining an early lead.

6. Athletes hike up to 100km in a day

Endurance is an important factor during the Red Bull X-Alps and athletes can clock up to 100km on foot in a day. Imagine trying to conquer mountainous terrain with a paraglider on your back?

7. Thermals are everything

During the flying phases of the race, competitors need to keep a sharp eye for thermals in order to climb higher and travel further. They have to read the terrain to see where these pockets of warm air are, and they also use birds of prey as indicators.

8. Athletes only have three months to study the route

Those who put in the preparation will come out on top.

9. Getting the nutrition right is vital for endurance.

Burning so many calories means nutrition is key for performance. Athletes have to consume an immense number of calories – the equivalent of 1.5kg of pasta a day according to athlete Antoine Girard.

10. Athletes can lose huge amounts of weight

During his first Red Bull X-Alps in 2007, Tom de Dorlodot lost 10kg in the first 11 days! 

If you want to know more, head over to www.RedBullXAlps.com

Relive the action from Red Bull X Alps 2015 in the video below:

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