José Ignacio Arévalo


"I will use the head a bit more and the legs a bit less"

Pilot: José Ignacio Arévalo
Nationality: Spanish
Birth Date: 01.12.1979
City: El Puerto de Santa María
Country: Spain
Job: Fireman
Glider: NIVIUK Artik P
Harness: KORTEL Kolibri Pro
Helmet: Salomon MTN LAB
Sponsors:  Niviuk, CIVA, Kortel
Assistant: Javier Delgado
Nationality: Spanish
Birth Date: 04.10.1978
City: Jerez de la Frontera
Country: Spain


What is your greatest sporting success?
Regarding paragliding in 2013, my second year doing comps, I won the Andalucian Championship, I was 3rd in the Spanish Championships and 2nd in the National league, all of it in Sport's class. In 2014 I won the two national events I entered (Algodonales and El Yelmo) in the Sport´s category, but I as life experience I choose the Xpyr 2014.

When and why did you start paragliding?
I started when I was very young in the school run by my father, but I left it. I went back to it in 2009.

What is your mountaineering experience?
I do a lot of mountain bike and rock climbing, canyoning, trekking, ferratas... Mountaineering is a different story. A bit around Sierra Nevada, and the last couple of years we have spent nearly 3 months in the Alps and just as long in the Pyrenees walking in the mountains, and of course the X-Pyr2014.

What does your typical training week consist of?
I normally run 3/4 days a week, a bit of bike, gym and flying as much as possible. On flying days I walk up to take off.

What are your best and worst sporting memories?
I have a lot of good ones, all very different. I enjoyed my years doing cycling, competing with people I used to see in the magazines.
I am enjoying paragliding a lot, it is all happening very fast, and it has been very intense. I have learned a lot in the LAP (Andalucian Paragliding League), and in 2012 and 2013 it was amazing flying XC in the Alps. My first Xpyr in 2014 was another unforgetable experience.

I don't remember any bad memories, maybe when you see a pilot struggling, or an accident in the air.

Why did you choose X-Pyr?
These type of races are awesome. We already did it in 2014 and it was a thrilling in every sense, because we enjoyed it to the max, and because the challenge was slightly too much for us...
We want to do it again but two years older and more experienced, to see what happens 🙂

Have you participated on X-Pyr before?
Yes, in 2014.

Have you flown in the Pyrenees before?
Yes, in 2011 and 2013, and the Xpyr 2014.

What will your strategy be during the race?
All the strategies possible for all the variables I can think of, although I am sure there are some which I haven't thought of...
It depends on the rain, the wind, my fitness level, on how I recover from the strain, how the flying goes, etc.
My motto for this edition is to use the head a bit more and the legs a big less.

What excites you most about X-Pyr?
The idea of running and flying across the Pyrenees, it is a great challenge in an incomparable landscape.
Paragliding flying is an adventure and this the best of all adventure races, apart from all the surprises you normally find in the mountains, you have to take the best advantage of the conditions available so they are on your side.

What scares you the most about the event?
Taking a bad decision which will complicate the flying or the route to carry on moving fordward.
Bombing out on the first day like in 2014, hahaha, my legs still hurt from the run I had to do to sort it out...

Why will he make a good assistant?
Because he is very fit, he is good at orienteering, maps, gps, he is a paraglider pilot. We have being in the Alps together for the last 2 years and when you live with someone in a van for a month and the following year you do it again it is because you get along really well.
Moreover, he was one of the people who encouraged me to sign up for this madness. In 2014 I owe him for 90% of my race. He would let me decide my own things, but when he could see my head wasn't working because of the exhaustion, he stopped me and he was the one to make the decissions, and he made some pretty good decisions.
If you have never done this type of race you don't realise how important assistants are.

Anything else you like to comment?
It seemed difficult, but here comes a Xpyr even more thrilling. Good luck to all!! see you in july!!!