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Walk Hard

Published on
27 June 2022

Day one of the X-Pyr is in the books! The race began on the beach in Hondarribia, a coastal Spanish town in Basque Country. We rolled down to the start at 9am to join the crowd of athletes, supporters, and paragliding enthusiasts, all abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Words of encouragement and well wishes were exchanged as the competitors lined up, took their mark, and were off under grey skies that echoed with cheers and Springsteen.

We were expecting a lot of rain on the first day, but were pleasantly surprised when that forecast did not come to fruition. Rob powered through the initial 14-mile run/hike to the top of Larrun just behind the small lead pack, so he was well positioned for his first sled ride of the day. As he made his way east, the field deviated in two general directions, one that followed the course line quite closely, and another that pushed more east. Rob trended east, getting in a total of four flights throughout the day. Keith and I met up with him when he landed, as well as along the hiking route, which partly followed major roads, to walk/run with him a bit and resupply him with food and water. When the day ended at 9pm, he was situated in 11th place in the field of 42 athletes – not bad for day one! We snacked on ham, cheese, and olives, cooked pasta for dinner, and strategized for day two before heading to bed.

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