Tuesday, September 05, 2017

From WestConnex to the Mongolian plains of Genghis Khan

Greatlakesadvocate.com.au - Full Article

Tim Barlass
5 Sep 2017

Belinda Ritchie knows a thing or two about transport. Her day job is as general counsel to Arcadis, part of the consortium of companies building Sydney Metro and WestConnex. Her expertise is in project management and sorting out the legal headaches presented by large infrastructure projects.

But today she departs for a transport challenge of a different kind. She will be part of a four-woman Australian team competing in a race to cross the Gobi Desert in Mongolia on horseback. The inaugural Gobi Desert Cup across the desert known for its dunes, mountains, snow leopards and Bactrian camels, will take six days covering 80 kilometres a day. That's a long time in the saddle.

And she admits she hasn't done much preparation: "You should probably do a lot more than I have," she said. "I only found out about it five weeks ago.

Ritchie is no stranger to long hours at the reins. In 2014 she was awarded Young Adventurer of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society after spending a year riding the entire 5330 kilometres of the Bicentennial National Trail from Melbourne to the north of Cairns. It was a horsewoman friend who has just completed the trail who told her about the Gobi challenge...

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