August 16, 2018

Category: Mongol Derby

Congratulations to the finishers!  After the winners, yesterday we saw DH, EAL, CH, AL & HW cross the line.

For DH, a bittersweet finish.  No doubt glad to complete, this was DH’s third attempt to win the Mongol Derby and her third time unlucky.  After leading for most of the race, in the end she was almost beaten into third place by EAL, who finished 20 minutes later with no penalties.  CH & AL rode across the line looking almost deliriously happy, followed some time later (three minutes before cut off!) by HW.  HQ can’t help wondering what HW might have done if she hadn’t had such bad luck with horses at the start of the race… we won’t tempt fate, but she wouldn’t be the first person to return for second crack.

VA was the first rider over the line this morning at 0745 – she rode hard to the last, beating the Archibells, MT & JP in by a mere 15 minutes.  A very close gap after 1000 kilometres.  JM was next, racing to meet his taxi at the finish line.  He arrived at 1215, giving him a clear hour or so to drink a beer, contemplate his feat of endurance and no doubt be congratulated on his superlative navigation-by-moon-and-stars ride.  The other three of the four amigos weren’t far behind.  EK, CR and KR cruised in at 1245 with plenty of racing time to spare meaning they have a day to spash around in the lake, celebrate and let it all sink in before heading back to Ulaanbaatar.

For everyone else, the race continues but it’s a different and slightly more desperate affair now as riders try their best to make the cutoff, gain an official placing and the all important satisfaction of knowing they completed the longest and toughest horse race in the world.  For HQ, the calculators are out and we are just as furiously calculating penalties not served and finishing times for the pedants *ahem* keen followers.  For some this looks as guaranteed as finishing the derby ever is, but as usual, there was drama at the back of the field.

NMS, JS & MG took two attempts to leave HS26; the horses there are particularly sharp and after a quick jolly, the happy couple and their official entertainment thought better of their choices.  DHE was unwell and took a sensible carry forward to HS26, where medics will review her condition tomorrow.  PK is there with her, also unwell and also awaiting medic review.  TB’s horse was retired with thumps after she took DH’s mountain pass route to HS25 instead of the recommended racing line.  The horse is absolutely fine, TB has been carried forward to HS26 so she doesn’t have to ride out alone tomorrow.  We wish everyone still on the field the best of luck.

HQ over and out

Finishers’ Leaderboard

17th August 2018

1330 – AC & AN (Australia & UK), joint winners of the Mongol Derby 2018

1535 – DH (USA), third

1556 – EAL (Australia), fourth

1707 – CH/AL (NA/SA), fifth

1957 – HW (Netherlands), seventh

18th August 2018

0745 – VA (Uruguay), eighth

0800 – the Archibells (Australia), MT (Botswana), JP (USA), ninth

1215 – JM (Ireland), fifteenth

1245 – EK (NZ), CR (USA), KR (USA)

1840 – KO (USA), TTM (NZ)

1842 – WG & KOL, (Australia)

2042 – MG, NMS & JS, (USA)

Rest of the field (placings all a bit nebulous after this point)

Urtuu 27 – MGR, SN, CON, GR, CF, JL, MM

Urtuu 26 – TB, PK, DHE

Retired: CB, CS, FA, KG, MB, MS, RB, RH, SA