X-Pyr 2024 – Simon Oberrauner crosses the finish line first with decisive moves

The X-Pyr is one of the toughest adventure races in the world. On June 23, 2024, 48 teams will start to traverse the Pyrenees from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean. Pilots carry minimal equipment and can be on the move for 14 hours a day. All in all, a big adventure.  

This year’s race began under extremely challenging conditions: torrential rain and a 77-kilometer stretch that had to be covered on foot to reach the first turnpoint. It was crucial to avoid injuries and minor complaints that could affect the rest of the race. Thomas Friedrich and Simon Oberrauner mastered these difficulties excellently, staying injury-free thanks to the support of their team. 

The following day, thermals with east wind and some shade were forecasted. Simon decided to cover an additional 25 kilometers on the road to secure a strategically advantageous first take-off point. After some flights and thorny paths, the day ended with little progress but in a promising position for the next day. 

After a strenuous climb, about 20 ticks had to be removed from their legs before a perfect flying day began. Simon managed to fly to the southern side of the Pyrenees, where he encountered excellent conditions and light winds. Flying over this part of the Pyrenees was particularly enjoyable, as conditions had been extremely difficult the last time. 

“The differences between the Pyrenees and the Alps are mainly in the wind systems,” Simon explained. “The conditions in the Pyrenees are extremely complex, the sun appears later, and the thermals start later. However, both mountain ranges are beautiful and offer unique challenges. Additionally, there is a sea breeze in the Pyrenees that adds extra dynamics.” 

When the group arrived in Vall de Nuria, heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning suddenly set in. After the storm, they ran to the top with Jordi Vilalta Jordan, who showed them the way. However, due to the heavy rain and nearby lightning, they decided to descend to the next mountain hut. 

On the last day, there were two options: either wait for good thermal conditions and try to fly to the goal, or use a hike-and-fly approach to cover the last 25 kilometers running and flying. The decisive turning point in the race was the final turnpoint. Simon had been grounded for a long time due to a thunderstorm but was able to maintain an advantage thanks to his lead. He realized he could win when he reached Vall de Nuria and saw his plan coming together. 

Simon’s secret to success lay in his mindset: approaching things calmly, flying as much as possible, not taking too many risks, and running when necessary. With this strategy, he gained a crucial advantage and clinched the victory. 


Simon’s equipment
  • X-ALPS5 (Athlete version)
  • RANGE X-ALPS3 (Athlete version)
  • TAPA X-ALPS 90
  • ULTRA 60 (stay tuned Zwinkern)

An entire package of 6.2 kilograms.


Congratulations to Simon Oberrauner on an impressive win!