Red Bull X-Alps 2007 Get here via Google? View our Website

This year, we competed as a team in the Red Bull X-Alps, a paragliding/walking race from one end of the Alps to the other. The race started at Krippenstein in Eastern Austria, passed via Marmolada in the Dolomites, the Eiger and Mont Blanc, before finishing in Monaco, a total distance of 850 km (see map).

As the only mode of transport allowed for the athlete was paragliding or walking, this was a major undertaking, for which we trained for months shedding many kg in the process. In the end, we finished 8th out of 30 teams, after covering nearly 800km on foot and 275km in the air. Read Ruth's account of the race here.

The Documentary

BBC Scotland followed us around the course and have produced an excellent documentary, X-Alps, The Worldís Most Extreme Race, which will be screened on Tuesday 30th October at 7:00 p.m.

The documentary is initially going to be screened only in Scotland, so if you live in Britain but not Scotland please contact the BBC to ask why you canít see it in your region. If sufficient people email in to ask if it could be shown elsewhere, then hopefully this will be the case. If you're lucky enough to live in Scotland and enjoyed the program, then please contact the BBC to tell them so; hopefully that will persuade the BBC that there is demand for coverage of a wider range of sports. In both cases, you can telephone 08700 100 222 or go to www.bbc.co.uk/complaints and click on "Send your Complaint".

 

The program is featured on the BBC-Scotland website, and can be viewed there on their player (it will remain available as long as people are viewing it). Again, if as many people as possible could view this it would be much appreciated, unfortunately I donít think the quality is as good.

 

Equipment

Ulric was flying a lightweight Ozone Mantra M2 with a Sup-Air Alti-Rando harness equipped with a Sup-Air lightweight reserve, resulting in a rucksack weighing in at a measly 12kg. The remaining equipment was as follows:

Sponsorship

We are indebted to our sponsors without whom it would simply not have been possible to compete. Please take a moment to check out their websites.

   
Ozone Gliders   Elemental Developments   Kenwood Electronics UK
         
   
Leavesley Aviation   Inov-8   High-5
         
   
Flying Fever Paragliding   Nivea UK   1066 Motorcycle Training
         
   
Thule UK   Lyon Equipment   Leki

We would like to thank Jennifer Durham who is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, at Chesterfield College for all her help in planning Ulricís food and nutritional requirements. She has show tremendous patience in helping two people who up until Ulric was given a place in the X-Alps, lived on cheese and wine. The X-Alps is unusual from a diet point of view, in the sense that you do not need to live on dried food that you can carry with you, as your support can buy fresh food everyday from supermarkets and cook it in the support vehicle. The main restrictions on food are that it has to be nutritious and quick and easy to eat. Coping with the food in different countries has also proved a challenge. Trying to find easy to eat food for on the road to give lots of different snacks a day with a good variety was also a difficult.

Just at the point when our bank manager was providing more thermal activity than the weather, Ed Ewing came to the rescue with some fund raising ideas. Edís suggestion to buy some raffle tickets and to open a pay pal account kept our bank manager at bay until Ulric finds something else to enter without asking my permission first. So may thanks Ed, I really donít know how we would have financed our entry into the X-Alps without your ideas. A big thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets in Peidrahita and thanks to Ozone, Guy Anderson and Cross Country magazine for providing the prizes. Thanks also to Tony Blacker for lending Ulric a decent reserve.

We hope to do a lecture tour round Britain after the X-Alps. If your club would like to see the bits of the X-Alps the BBC werenít allowed to show, then send an email to ruth@pottyplace.com and weíll add you to the list.

Clubs who have expressed and interest so far: