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I work on the ocean and play in the mountains, the X-Pyr is my ultimate adventure.

Ben Hodgson


Ben Hodgson


  • Nationality
    South Africa
  • Age
  • Occupation
    Engineer / Sailor
  • Residence
    Midhurst (United Kingdom)
  • Experience
  • Wing
    ADVANCE Omega X-Alps 3
  • Harness
    SKYWALK Range X-Alps 2
  • Helmet
    SUPAIR Pilot

Meg Hodgson


  • Nationality
    South Africa
  • Residence
    Nanyuki (Kenya)

Team details

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Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
I started following the X-Pyr when I started flying and set it as a life-long goal. I love the wild nature of the mountain range (it reminds me of home) and the idea of crossing it from ocean to sea. I think it is one of the most epic races out there and I’m truly honoured to be a part of it.

What is your greatest sporting success?
Probably finishing 2nd in the 2023 Transcapixaba H&F race in Brazil.Tthat was an awesome race.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started paragliding in 2011. I was big into kitesurfing and when the season ended a friend suggested I should give paragliding a try. It very quickly became the obsession of my life.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I grew up on a farm very close to the Drakensberg mountain range in South Africa and spent a lot of time hiking, camping, trail running and mountain biking in the mountains, as well as later on in the Cederberg mountains near to where I studied. More recently I have been exploring the Alps mainly with H&F but also hiking/trail running/MTB.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
Best: having my Dad fly out from South Africa to support me in Bornes to Fly last year, that was special.

Worst: Breaking my wrist on my mountain bike, that took a while to recover from.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? Do you have a favourite area?
Not yet, I have been hiking though and it is stunning.

Is there anything you like to see (or not) in the route?
As long as we start in Hondarribia and finish in El Port de la Selva I think I will be happy.

Apart from flying far and walking little, what will your strategy be during the race?
To try to focus on the long game and to keep control of my mind. I believe the mind is everything.

What does your typical training week consist of?
I combine running, cycling and gym work during the week, mainly focusing on base training and core and strength work. Weekends I focus more on endurance with long rides and long hikes/slow runs carrying my glider. If the weather is good, flying always takes preference.

What has been the hardest part of your race preparation so far?
Three out of six months I live and work on a sailing boat, this can sometimes make training and flying a challenge but it allows me the next 3 months to be 100% focused on flying and training, which is great.

What excites you most about participating in the X-Pyr?
The adventure, to explore the mountains and fly over some epic terrain.

What worries you the most about the event?
The wind and the run up to Larun, it’s a strong start.

How do you know your assistant?
Meg is my sister.

What are your assistant’s main strengths?
Megs recently competed in a 10 day self supported horse race through the mountains of Patagonia, fends off lions and elephants guiding multi-day horse riding safaris in Kenya and has completed multiple half and full marathons. She’s well up for the adventure and knows how to dig deep when things get tough. Her biggest strength probably though is knowing me better than most. I’m super excited to share this adventure with her.

What advice would you ask of the race veterans?
Some flying tips for day 1, I believe getting into the big mountains can be tricky.

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