Saturday, May 30, 2009

A few words of wisdom from Aidan Toase

Aidan very kindly shared much of his experience of his two previous races and good humouredly answered my incessant questions.

I asked him what is it actually like to fly in the X-Alps:
You do some crazy things like taking off from the top of a mountain at dawn and landing by 6am. I did this in Davos: I left the van at 3:30am and started walking up. Then it started snowing. Just as I got to the top I broke through the cloud layer and saw that it was relatively clear on the other side of the valley. So I found a bit of snow, laid out the glider and took off. It was a short flight, but amazing. The plan was to walk up the other side and do fly XC later in the day, but it all went horribly wrong after that.
On the advantages of running versus walking, he responded:
It's not about efficiency, it's about wear and tear. And running really tears you up.
On the interaction with your supporter:
Sometimes you're so focused on the race that you don't realise what you're putting your supporter through. You ask them to buy a blister pack from the nearby town because they've got the van and it's just a short drive. When they get there they find that the pharmacy is closed but they don't want to come back empty handed so and they drive to the next town. Before you know it your quick request has caused them a multi-hour round trip.
On his application to race again in 2009:
I'd love to apply and not get in. Then I could not do it guilt-free.
Aidan also revealed the secret that won him eight place in his first ever X-Alps and sixth place in 2007, but I'm not going to share it here :-)