Monday, August 14, 2017

Mongol Derby Day 6

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Day 6. August 14, 2017 - Michelle Tanaka





Day 6 Take It to the Limit - Michelle Tanaka

Leading man (once again) Jakkie Mellet checked into U25 at 20:31, sticking himself with a Late Riding Penalty, which will have to be sat out in real-time in the morning. Bad luck. Instead of riding out at 07:00, he’s going to have to sit chilly until 07:02.

With 17 minutes riding time to spare, Ed Fernon went blazing out of U24 in pursuit of Jakkie. Twelve minutes later, he returned to spend the night. Good choice, Ed—you’ll sleep much better in a warm dry ger, horse pre-grazed and pre-watered when you saddle up in the morning.

Spot of disappointment today: EF possibly trying to evade horse welfare rules. Race ref Maggie first issued official, assuredly stern warning for pattern of inconsiderate riding. EF continued, and earned himself two hours at Naughty Corner. Meanwhile MP spent six hours at U22, not freed until 45 minutes riding time remained.

With all recent talk about Naughty Listers and Naughty Corners, it’s time to recognize the handful of riders who have managed to avoid all penalties, vet or technical: Brooke Wharton, Lucy Taylor, Paul Richards, and Jodie Ward earning Best Decision-Making Awards. So far. They’ve got a couple days’ riding to go. Don’t let us down.

Darling of the Day: BW. She’s been riding solo—completely solo, with no one in range for dozens of miles. She’s not lonely, though, befriending the locals at every stop and earning invitations to stay longer and return. She’s also one of a handful of riders going completely penalty-free (so far).

Today’s Medical Tale: PG pestered JL for advice on how to treat chafing… in the testicular area. This must be PG’s first time riding long distances, otherwise he would know how not to squash the family jewels. Wonder what JL told him...

Update on increasingly-popular LW: she’s been using a sock stuffed with donated bits and pieces as a saddle bag (after losing all kit early on). No one is packing any extra kit in their 5kg allowance, so kudos to those donating to the less fortunate.

Retirements: GK, two cracked ribs. OW, torn ligament. They are both luxuriating in UB’s newest hotel, the swankiest of swanky Holiday Inns. That’s eight total retirements so far.

We expect JM BA MP EF WC WS to finish tomorrow early afternoon, and while we’re reasonably sure of the order, a lot can happen quite quickly out there. Keep your eyes glued to the Twitter feed for the most up-to-date news.

17:30. Eerily quiet in the Ops Room this afternoon. Our version of twiddling thumbs is making shitloads of ginger-lemon cocktail syrup for the finish camp. To go with shitloads of vodka, of course. Official finish party won’t take place until August 19 back in UB, but we figured we’d start punishing livers before then, they’ve earned it. Not that this lot will need mixers by the time they’ve crossed the finish line. After riding 1,000 kilometres through the Mongol wilderness, they’ll no doubt be ready to pound it back straight.

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Spot of disappointment: one of the leaders, EF, apparently trying to evade horse welfare rules. Race ref Maggie first issued official, assuredly stern warning for inconsiderate riding: galloping horses just short of stations, then loitering before coming in for the vet check. EF continued, and earned himself two hours at Naughty Corner. Meanwhile MP spent six hours at U22, not freed until 45 minutes riding time remained.

Darling of the Day: BW. She’s been riding solo—completely solo, with no one in range for dozens of miles. She’s not lonely, though, befriending the locals at every stop and earning invitations to stay longer and return. She’s also one of a handful of riders going completely penalty-free (so far).

Today’s Medical Tale: PG pestered JL for advice on how to treat chafing… in the testicular area. This must be PG’s first time riding long distances, otherwise he would know how not to squash the family jewels. Wonder what JL told him...

Update on increasingly-popular LW: she’s been using a sock stuffed with donated bits and pieces as a saddle bag (after losing all kit early on). No one is packing any extra kit in their 5kg allowance, so kudos to those donating to the less fortunate.

Retirements: GK, two cracked ribs. OW, torn ligament. They are both luxuriating in UB’s newest hotel, the swankiest of swanky Holiday Inns. That’s eight total retirements so far.

We expect JM BA MP EF WC WS to finish tomorrow, and while we’re reasonably sure of the order, a lot can happen quite quickly out there. Keep your eyes glued to the Twitter feed for the most up-to-date news.

17:30. Eerily quiet in the Ops Room this afternoon. Our version of twiddling thumbs is making shitloads of ginger-lemon cocktail syrup for the finish camp. To go with shitloads of vodka, of course. Official finish party won’t take place until August 19 back in UB, but we figured we’d start punishing livers before then, they’ve earned it. Not that this lot will need mixers by the time they’ve crossed the finish line. After riding 1,000 kilometres through the Mongol wilderness, they’ll no doubt be ready to pound it back straight.