Simcoereformer.ca - Full Article
By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 4:57:50 EDT PM
When Long Point's Olivia Wood first told her family what she planned on doing after graduating university it was almost too crazy for them to comprehend.
“My mom thought I was pregnant and I was covering it up with some outlandish excuse,” the 24-year-old laughed. “She thought she was being punked... she was not so keen on the whole idea but she's come around and been super supportive.”
Earlier this year Wood, a Cambridge, Ontario native, completed her final year of studies at Niagara University in New York State before moving to Norfolk. Knowing the window to travel freely was quickly closing, Wood decided to combine her love of horses, athletics, and nature into one high-risk, high-reward activity.
She soon got accepted to what's known as the Mongol Derby, a 1,000km (621 mile) endurance horse race that aims to recreate Genghis Khan's empire-busting postal system. The Aug. 6-19 event claims to be “the longest and toughest horse race in the world”.
“Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high,” the derby website reads. “Individuals who have taken part in the past have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled or lost their life.”
The trek sees 40 riders from around the world head out into the wild with nothing more than a GPS and 11 pounds (5kg) of gear atop semi-wild Mongolian horses...
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