CARRAVELLO – Official Red Bull Race car

Motorhome from CARRAVELLO supported Toma Coconea at the Red Bull X-Alps

We know, it sounds pretty crazy, right? You can almost imagine a motorhome in a Formula One race. It’s not exactly so, but not far either: CARRAVELLO was one of the vehicles that followed the athlete Toma Coconea in the toughest adventure race in the world – Red Bull X-Alps – which started on the 16th of June and ended on the 27th. It is known as such because it involves endurance, perseverance and toughness (both physical and psychical). It implies paragliding or hiking for 1138 km in straight line, from Salzburg to Monaco through the Alps in 12 days. However, the route is not a predefined one and, in order to check all 13 marked turning points, even a double distance can result.

Source: redbullx-alps.com

We said it is not a predefined route because paragliding cannot be 100% planned: it depends on weather conditions (wind, rain and even snow), clouds, altitude and geographical layouts. Equally, hiking depends on the incline, the terrain conditions (climbing or bypassing glaciers), fatigue, and physical condition. If experience, strategic skills and the ability to predict add up to this cocktail, you will understand why Toma has completed the race having 2030.78 km covered in 11 days. There have been days, like Day 5, when he hiked for 66 km – may be hard to imagine, but this means the distance between Bucharest and Ploiesti. Below you can see his route – marked in grey – compared to the guideline – for more details, you can go to www.redbullx-alps.com and, in the Live Tracking section, you can even see it in 3D.

We made this long introduction because many of us do not know who Toma Coconea is. So, the Romanian Toma Coconea writes history at the Red Bull X-Alps for 18 years, being the only athlete to have participated in all the editions (organized every two years). Toma Coconea – “The Legend” or “The man who climbs up the mountain faster than the chairlift” (as it is known in descopera.ro) or the “Romanian Running Machine” has come to have such titles because of his love for nature, mountain, hiking. Born in Petroşani, Hunedoara County, the Parang Mountains were his childhood’s scenery and also the place where he first discovered the magic of flying. As a pioneer in Romanian paragliding, Toma brought this sport to a new level of performance when, in 2003, Red Bull announced the organization of the X-Alps and selected Toma as a participant. Speaking of selection, the process is one that has been long analysed by a multidisciplinary committee which takes into account various aspects such as physical training, experience, endurance skills in extreme conditions (including psychologically). Thus, even at the 2019 edition, Toma was among the 32 selected participants.

As a veteran and double vice-champion, Toma Coconea is an inspiration for all the participants of Red Bull X-Alps race. At the age of 44, the race ended with him ranking 11. But every participation at this competition is the real victory and a reason of pride and joy! Toma is the only Romanian able to participate and win such a race. And when he competes, he IS Romania!

“We, CARRAVELLO, strongly believe in the power of hard work and the performance born out of passion. If you have little time to watch the interview that one of the founders has given VANgabond.eu, you will see that CARRAVELLO is the “fruit” of our passion. Crazy maybe but driven by such madness and enthusiasm that can only spring from passion. And when we met Toma Coconea, we saw in him the same beautiful madness that makes one move mountains. And he really does move them through his will, strength and perseverance. ”

Source: Toma Coconea’s Facebook Page

“Now, the time has come to shamefully recognize that, before we met Toma, we did not fully understand the extent of this race and the amount of effort it implies. Later, we tried to imagine a man who, after 60 km of hiking and maybe another 100 km flown in extreme conditions, has to wash himself from a bucket and sleep in a sleeping bag on the ground, in a tent at negative temperatures. (The race implies that every evening at 22:30, no matter where they are, competitors must stop and rest). Toma told us that it was then that the strategy planning sessions began, and only at around 1 AM, was he able to relax in the shower and sleep. Most of us cannot even imagine the level of fatigue one athlete at Red Bull X-ALPS can reach and this is why timing is the key – because every second matters.”

Thus, the fact that the shower, bed, table, and his team were able to wait for Toma wherever he chose or had to stop every night, was an unimaginable help both in terms of time efficiency and comfort – as to provide the much-needed physical recovery.

Sursa: Toma Coconea’s Facebook Page

CARRAVELLO was Toma Coconea’s travel, adventure and relaxing partner, and it can be said, without any trace of modesty, that they contributed to his performance by being his “home” for 30 days and giving him wings.

Source: Toma Coconea’s photo team + Carravello artistic intervention

CARRAVELLO – A caravan of fulfilled dreams

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