The Red Bull X-Alps is the toughest multi-day adventure race in the world, earning its title from the harsh conditions expert athletes face while hiking and paragliding their way across the Alps. In the 2021 edition, every athlete was equipped with a GoPro and given a SanDisk Extreme SD card to capture the day’s action. Of course, Red Bull Illume knows the advantage of using such high powered technology to capture adventure and action sport, but how did they get the content from the athletes’ locations down to the editing suite?
Well, good old human power. It’s been a while since messengers transported news on foot, but when the message is flying towards a remote location about 2000 m high, it’s the most reliable. A team of runners had the responsibility of getting the SD cards from an athlete to the video teams so that content could be created in time to make the Daily Report. You see, as the athletes came in to land, one of the event’s five runners would swap out the SD Extreme 64GB card with a clean one. They would take the full ones and drive directly to the Race Headquarters or sometimes, quite literally, run down the mountain to meet up with the editors.
“It was a good system,” explained the race’s media director. “The race relies upon a steady flow of SD cards – clean ones going to the athletes and recorded ones going to our production partner. That takes some organization and logistics, to do it every day for 12 days during a race which, by the end, is strung out over 500 km of the Alps! But we were fortunate to have SanDisk as our race partner. They proved super durable for the extreme conditions that athletes encountered, like being shockproof, waterproof and temperature proof. With a write speed of 90MB/s they allowed athletes to shoot 4K while flying.”
It was a race that put humans and technology through the ultimate test, with some of the most amazing footage ever captured, which you can check out on the Red Bull X-Alps YouTube Channel.
To discover how to take your next shoot further, check out the brand new storage solutions from the SanDisk Professional range, just one of the amazing prizes this year’s Red Bull Illume finalists will win.