With little over six weeks to go before the start of the Red Bull X-Alps the athletes are preparing for the race of their lives. With it’s reputation as the toughest adventure race in the world the Red Bull X-Alps covers a straight line distance of just over 1000km, from Salzburg to Monaco, which must be covered by foot or by paraglider.
As proud partners of the event the team at Powertraveller (who provide the ultimate off grid power solutions and who I am an ambassador for) are getting excited about following this epic journey. Each athlete has been given a Powermonkey Explorer 2 – the toughest portable charger providing off grid power whenever they need it; which could be above the mountain tops while flying high or in the depths of a valley running in the rain.
We’ve loved getting to know some of the athletes and getting their invaluable feedback about the Powermonkey Explorer 2 and of course while we support and are cheering on every team in the event Steve Nash and Richard Bungay, Team GBR, have a special place in our hearts!
No stranger to this event Steve Nash competed in the 2011 Red Bull X-Alps so he knows precisely what he’s in for. At 52 he will be the oldest athlete in the race but with age comes experience and a solid foundation of fitness and skill. He has flown from the Vallot hut at 4,362m on Mt Blanc, from the summit of Elbrus and from 6,200m on Peak Lenin in Kyrgyzstan and he’s vol-bivvied across the Pyrenees during his 20 plus years of paragliding cross county. With a reputation of being a running machine and doing mountain marathons for over 10yrs Steve completed the 119km Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc TDS race with 7,250m of ascent in an impressive time of 26hrs 5mins.
In his day job Steve is an engineer but now in training mode he’s taken a break from work and is in training full time. He recently completed a Hike & Fly of the 15 peaks (3000ft mountains) in Snowdonia, Wales. He took 10 hrs 18 mins to complete the challenge (44k with 3404m height gain) and it seems that this is the first time anyone has done this using a paraglider. Currently Steve is in the Alps for a month to do a thorough X-Alps route recce and when we asked how he’s feeling about the upcoming X-Alps he had this to say…
“Since selection in October, my whole existence has been focused to the start of the Red Bull X-Alps on the 5th July. I’ve been in the Alps now for 3 weeks traveling the route, exploring options and talking to anyone and everyone who has ‘local knowledge’ of the areas. Richard has joined me to spend another week in the Austrian section, where we will fine tune all of our equipment and routines. We now feel very familiar with the 2015 route and both look forward to a very expensive cup of tea in the Cafe de Paris in Casino Square.”
Website – Team GBR