What is your greatest sporting success?
Finishing the Dolomiti Super Fly 2020, 2nd place at the Xterra World Champs 2013 (age group), two amateur podiums in the Red Bull Dolomitenmann, finishing the GODZone Adventure race in New Zealand and the AR World Champs in Wyoming. I’m also proud that despite all activities I do, I have had no serious injury so far and I hope it will remain so…
When and why did you start paragliding?
I started flying 7 years ago. After competing over 12 years in triathlons and MTB, I was looking for some new motivation and a direction in which I could develop. By that time my good friend and a paragliding instructor Michal Krysta, who I later supported on X-Pyr 2016, brought me to a paragliding course and soon I found out this sport attracts me a lot, especially the combination with hiking or climbing.
What is your mountaineering experience?
Multiple (ski)mountaineering competitions, summits and descents in Alps, High Tatras, Low Tatras, and other Slovak mountains. Summer and winter (ice, mixed) climbing in High Tatras. Multiple multi-day trekking or mountaineering adventures in Balkan mountains and Sierra Nevada in Spain. Summited Finsteraarhorn in Switzerland (in winter), Jebel Toubcal in Morocco and Mt. Whitney in California. I also moved to Wallis in Switzerland last year to stay in the heart of Alps and be able to train there.
What does your typical training week consist of?
It depends on the season and the event I’m preparing for. But generally in summer time my training consists mainly of trail running, paragliding, MTB, and road cycling accompanied by some swimming and kayaking. In winter I always try to enjoy snow so if the snow conditions are good I prefer ski-mountaineering, nordic & alpine skiing, ice or mixed climbing. But I also focus on swimming and running. My training load is around 15 hours per week in average. In weekends I usually compete, because I think competitions are the best training.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
I remember it was really emotional when I top-landed the Marmolada for the first time. I also felt a lot of relief when we a finished 84 km trekking leg (planned for ~24 hours) during GODZone AR in 50 hours due to bad navigation decision and injury, completely hungry and exhausted. The worst moments were when we had to give up one adventure race after 4 days due to health problems of one team member and one scary landing when I was blown above a water reservoir and I managed to land very luckily on the lee side on a tiny shore stip thanks to the low water level.
Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
I’m looking forward to discovering new places I’ve never been before and I like to share my adventures with other athletes. The X-Pyr is the longest hike&fly race this season and when I look back, the strongest memories and experience I have always come from moments where I had to cross the border of my comfort zone by a lot.
Have you participated on X-Pyr before?, How was it?
I participated only as a supporter of Michal Krysta in 2016. It was just a year after I started paragliding, so it was a completely new experience for me. Unfortunately we had to give up the race on the third day due to Michal’s problems with his knee. So I didn’t see that much of the Pyrenees so far.
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?
I just did a short flight from Larun, but I heard it’s often quite windy there and they are much less populated than the Alps – so in my opinion it’s the right place for such adventure 🙂
What will your strategy be during the race?
I will try to use the given time every day as effectively as possible and of course fly as far as possible, because it’s way faster than walking and moreover you can relax physically.
What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
I really look forward to discover the Pyrenees, enjoy delicious Spanish cuisine and wine, spend time with friends, and learn new things.
What scares you the most about the event?
Multiple non-flyable days in a row and strong weather conditions when it’s really hard to decide whether to take-off or not.
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
I have known Martin for a long time. He is an experienced pilot and we already did some flying and mountaineering adventures together. But what is the most important – we can make fun of the same things, which is great, because you have to find a way to relax also during multi-day competitions.
Anything else you like to comment?
See you out there! 🙂