August 11, 2018

Category: Mongol Derby

Another hot, hot day on the Mongol Derby 2018.  For those not hit by catastrophic bad luck, at least yet, this point of the race is where it starts to get hard.  Every morning you feel better than last night, but not as good as yesterday morning.  Rubs are appearing (WG).  Duct tape (EA) and zip ties are increasingly in evidence (KR).  Crucial items are starting to get broken beyond repair (hydration packs – they tend to burst in falls as DHE & CON know) and lost (KO’s GPS, JM’s compass, JM’s sense of humour as he gets epically lost, again).  Your borrowed kit feels wrong (SN).  The reality of the race is starting to set in.

And yet.  Suddenly you’re on a great horse.  Not a good horse, not a very good horse, a GREAT horse.  The sun is shining.  You turn to one side and there is your new friend (MT/JP)/ your best friend/ your fiance(e) (NMS/JS).  You’re galloping.  The going is good – the horses are in a good mood and they start to really race.  You stand up in your stirrups, look out at the great wilderness around you, the empty steppe and you quietly think to yourself “if this all ended now, it would have been worth it.  There is no better life.”

For some lucky riders, they have days and days of racing still to go.  Others won’t make the finish, knocked out by falls, bad luck, bad weather, sickness or just exhaustion.  But everyone who rides the Mongol Derby gets to feel like this at least once ad that is why despite the sore throat from vomiting (Archibald-Bell clan), the terrifying falls (GR) and the adversity (everyone), this is such a special event.


At urtuu 13, with the Bayarzengel family – DH

Roughly 15 kilometres shy of urtuu 13, AC, AN & EAL

At urtuu 12, with the Boldoo family, AL & CH

HW and MT & JP (who look like they are still riding together) are camped out in between urtuus 11 & 12, as are the Archibald-Bell clan.  Neither MT nor JP has stayed with a derby family at a race urtuu yet.  EK is also camped out, a little closer to urtuu 12.  What a day for EK!  He quietly rode over four legs of the race today.  HW also had a great day.  She nearly managed five legs.

With the Batbileg family at urtuu 11, JM, KR, VA, CR, KO & TTM

With the Ser-Od family at urtuu 10, MG, PK, MM, MGR, JS & NMS.  Eagle eyed followers will see that the family at urtuu 10 have the same name as the family at urtuu 6; they are different families but Ser-Od is a very popular name.  TB, CF & MM are also at urtuu 10, but arrived 45 minutes late and will serve the 3 hour penalty for being more than 30 minutes late tomorrow morning at this urtuu.

With the Olziinyam family at urtuu 9, CS, WG, RB, MB, CB, DHE, KG, RH, KOL, SN & CON

With the Urtnasan family at urtuu 8, JL & GR