Elite Field of Athletes Announced for Red Bull X-Alps 2017

By Red Bull X-Alps

Following thorough deliberation, the Red Bull X-Alps race committee will grant entry to 30 applicants from 20 countries. Picked from the most talented and fittest athletes in the world, they are now set to make the eighth edition of the epic paratrekking race starting on July 02, 2017. During the race, athletes must hike or fly a straight-line distance of more than 1,000km across the Alps as fast as possible via a currently undisclosed number of turnpoints.
Competitor performs during the Red Bull X-Alps in Graubuenden, Switzerland. © zooom / Felix Wölk

Being picked to participate is already the first big challenge ahead of the race across the Alps, and an honor for only a select few. Every single athlete chosen has demonstrated solid mountaineering and trekking experience, an incredible dedication to training and physical fitness, mental strength, as well as proven flying ability. 

Given the lofty requirements for entry, Red Bull X-Alps historically sees many returning participants –and this year is no different, with 20 former competitors returning to the start line once again. The race will see familiar names like Aaron Durogati (ITA), Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) , Paul Guschlbauer (AUT) and of course, four-time race winner Christian ‘Chrigel’ Maurer from Switzerland. The 2017 edition will furthermore feature 10 new athletes – among them Krischa Berlinger (SUI) who took part as a supporter during the 2015 race.

Other notable athletes include Toma Coconea (ROU), now back for his 8th Red Bull X-Alps, and the only athlete to have participated in every single Red Bull X-Alps race, Antoine Girard, the Frenchman who recently set the record for the highest paragliding flight ever, at over 8,000m over Broad Peak in the Karakoram, and Gavin McClurg, USA, who this year completed a challenging and treacherous cross-country traverse of the Alaska Range.
Defending champion Christian “Chrigel” Maurer is back for his 5th Red Bull X-Alps. © zooom / Harald Tauderer
Red Bull X-Alps veteran Toma Coconea (ROU) has competed in every edition so far. © zooom / Vitek Ludvik

“We’ve put together a very impressive group of people for 2017. These guys can run, climb, fly – and do it all at speeds that are super-human, in conditions that would send your average adventurer home for a warm cup of tea. With the level of competition rising each year we are looking forward to an exciting and close race,” says race director Christoph Weber.

While it may seem early to announce the participants of a race that’s happening next summer, it’s important to some people: the athletes. As a result of the tough nature of the race and the unique skills required, they’ll have to step up training immediately to get into the physical and mental place they need to be in to participate in the world’s toughest adventure race – not to mention, they’ll need to be ready to explore their personal limits while staying highly focused for an extensive period of time. 

Stay up-to-date with the Red Bull X-Alps athletes and their intensive training through and 
Veteran adventurer Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) is ready to take on the Red Bull X-Alps challenge once again. © zooom / Harald Tauderer
Sebastian Huber (GER3) was the most successful rookie in Red Bull X-Alps 2015. Who will take his place? © zooom / Kelvin Trautman
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