Sunday, August 08, 2010

Mongolia: Kiwi leads the field in the world's most demanding horse race - Full Article

A Kiwi double Olympian is leading what is described as the longest and toughest horse race in the world.

The second annual Mongol Derby will take the riders 1000 kilometres across the Mongolian wilderness.

Last year's derby took the participants between seven and 10 days to complete, raising money for Mongolian charities.

Madonna Harris, 53, who represented New Zealand in road cycling in the 1988 Olympic Games and in cross-country skiing in the 1988 Winter Olympics, was one of 16 riders who lined up for the start of the race on Saturday.

Yesterday, she was leading the field. "I have been working on accepting that it will be one of the hardest things I've done and knowing there are bound to be moments of difficulty," she said on the race website.

"I'm certainly not riding to win ... I'm expecting to be distracted along the way by the culture and people, and I want to be able to see the environment as I travel through...."

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