Red Bull Der Lange Weg was inspired by four Austrian ski mountaineers. Robert Kittl, Klaus Hoi, Hansjörg Farbmacher and Hans Mariacher mastered the route in 1971 with only one support man in a VW bus, Alois Schett. The five athletes did not pass all peaks and valley locations of the 1971 team.
Common decisions and experiences bonded the team, which had originally consisted of seven individual athletes, more closely together during the course of the tour. Two of the athletes who’d started in Reichenau an der Rax had to retire on their way to Nice for different reasons. Nuria Picas (ESP), one of the most successful ultra-trail runners in the world, and South Tyrolean alpinist Tamara Lunger (ITA). The five athletes the did complete were all the more proud when they arrived on the beach of Nice.
With her impressive performance, Janelle Smiley showed that not only physical conditioning played a big part, but also tactics, mental strength and team spirit.