RISE&FALL, a race against the clock - Part 4

4x430 altitude metres of intense struggle and challenges lay before the athletes of the 85 teams competing in RISE&FALL. This awesome sporting event which kicks off the winter season in Mayrhofen on the 14th December 2019, pushes the competitors to their limits. We find out from the athletes themselves exactly how they prepare to compete in their chosen discipline. The hard training doesn’t begin in Autumn, but requires endurance and fighting spirit throughout the whole year!


©Michael Werlberger

Created by Elisabeth Frontull

©Marco Francazi

Marco Francazi from Sillian in East Tyrol is a sportsman to the core. This year Marco is once again competing as the paraglider with his team, Rainerback Sillian Pro Team, and is already looking forward to his flight. However, Marco is multitalented when it comes to sports, and so would like to one day compete in RISE&FALL in another discipline. 




What sport are you representing in RISE&FALL? 

This year I’m competing for the third time as the paraglider in my team. However, over the next years I may well compete in other disciplines, providing I have enough time to train. 


What motivated you to take part in this extreme sports event?

For me there are two big motivating factors in RISE&FALL: Firstly, the visible improvement through the training process, and secondly, my friends and teammates. 

When we first decided to take part in RISE&FALL in 2015, I was really worried that my individual performance would have a negative effect on the team’s performance. For that reason, I trained really hard. With the goal of getting fit for RISE&FALL, I climbed the “Petersberg” mountain almost every day after work and flew home with my paraglider, an Airdesign Susi2. I soon noticed how the first kilograms melted away and how much faster I got. Even now, when my progress isn’t quite as noticeable, I still find small improvements very motivating.

The second big motivating factor for me are my friends and teammates who I have known since childhood and who I am competing with this year for the third time. Unfortunately, because of work, studies and our different interests, we don’t see each other as often as we used to, or do as much together as we once did. But, during RISE&FALL we are back together again and, after each of us has given our all in the race, we can really let loose and enjoy the after party..

Paragleiter bei RISE&FALL 2017
©Marco Francazi
Paragleiter bei RISE&FALL 2017
©Marco Francazi
Paragleiter bei RISE&FALL 2017
©Marco Francazi

What is your goal for the RISE&FALL competition? 

The main goals for my team and I are to finish the race without injury, to have fun competing, and to improve on our time and position from last year. 

What training and preparation have you done for RISE&FALL over the last year? 

Each year I train for two big events; RISE&FALL and the “Dolomitenmann”. In September, after the “Dolomitenmann”, I usually take a break from training. From the end of September, I go to Hike&Fly whenever the conditions allow. I also go to the “Gesundheitswelt” (health centre) in Sillian. A few weeks before the race I train specialist things such as gathering up the wing as quickly as possible, running with the wing, race starts etc.

Is it the first time that you are taking part in RISE&FALL? 

We are taking part for the third time this year. Last year was amazing. A great atmosphere, a fantastic crowd, and the after party was just legendary!

Can you tell me why you have chosen to put yourself through this ordeal? Will this event push you to your limit, or do you feel you have the potential to do more?

I really like to take part in RISE&FALL because it’s a really fantastic competition. It’s exciting and well-organised. It’s great fun to first get a bird’s eye view of the event from the sky and then, a little later, to run through the crowds carrying the wing. Of course, I always push myself to my limit because I don’t want to let my team down, and also because I really want to beat my personal time from last year.