Endurance-world.com - Full Article
July 29 2019
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Tuesday 29 July 2019. Featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race, this is the 11th year that 45 men and women from the four corners of the earth will race 1,000km across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.
This year’s edition will start on 7 August and the riders are expected to finish on 16 August.
The race recreates Chinggis Khaan’s ancient horse messenger system in epic fashion.
In 1224, Man of the Millennium Genghis Khan set up the world’s first long-distance postal transmission system. Using a massive network of horse stations his messengers could gallop from his capital Kharkhorin to the Caspian sea in a few days. It’s thought the speed of this communications was one of the great tactical advantages of the Mongol warriors.
Riders carrying messages directly from the Khan would ride non-stop wearing a gergel (metal plates showing the authenticity of the message) on their belts. Messengers would leap onto their new ride at each Urtuu at full tilt. Not even the call of nature or hunger would stop them. The remnants of this horse-wise-web carried on delivering post and messages right into the 1950’s.
The hardy & semi-wild native horses of Mongolia reprise their traditional role as the legs and lungs of the adventure and the horse stations, or morin urtuus, will be manned by nomadic herding families as they traditionally were. The messengers themselves will be played by horsemen and adventurers from around the world all riding up to 160km a day, navigating independently and changing horses at 40 kilometre intervals.
Cool Earth is once again the race’s official charity, although riders can also raise money for causes close to their saddles, and hearts.
Riders range from a 56-year-old Texan cowboy to a helicopter pilot from Alice Springs, a paleo-botanist from The Netherlands and a management consultant from South Africa, via a host of saddle-hardened (they’ll need to be) girls and boys from the racing world. All think they are fearless and ready for the most extreme adventure of their lives – we’ll see… Some will crash and burn...
See the competitors here:
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