Home and Dry in Millionaires’ Playground

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 1, 2009 6:42 am

After 11 days of physical and mental torture, Christian Maurer crossed the Red Bull X-Alps 2009 finishing line in Monaco. Having set off from Salzburg armed only with a paraglider and hiking gear, the 26 year old extreme sportsman from Switzerland came out on top in the hardest of battles across Europe’s highest mountains against 29 other athletes from 23 countries.

Maurer covered an incredible 1, 376 kilometers on the edge of physical and mental exhaustion during the planet’s toughest adventure race as he became the first racer to plunge into the spectacular waters of Monaco’s legendary harbour. Maurer finished an incredible two days ahead of the field.

The Swiss athletes route to one of the swankiest destinations in the world was anything but cushy. As well as making checkpoints at seven of Europe’s highest peaks, Maurer had to endure heavy rains, fierce storms, and extreme heat as he raced across the rough terrain. Maurer spent a total of 42.17 hours in the air and 87.32 hours on foot with only 100 hours of rest. He covered 34,890 vertical meters on foot and 999 kilometers on his paraglider as he bridged the 1,376 kilometers from Salzburg to Monoco. “My body is totally exhausted, I won’t move a meter over the next few days. I was on the edge during the whole race, but since landing in the water, I feel better than ever – mentally at least!”

The finish line will remain open for another 48 hours, where a group of athletes from Switzerland, England, The United States, Germany, and Russia are expected to finish. In 2007, only five racers from the original field were able to cross the finish line.

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