Friday, August 21, 2020

Mongol Derby Diary #1 - Full Story

August 3, 2020

Welcome to our recap of some of the best/worst/most memorable moments of the Derby over the past decade. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of this mind-blowing race with stories from many years, many riders, and many angles. What happens when a rider turns up in Mongolia but their carefully curated-and-tested-to-oblivion gear doesn’t? What really goes on at start camp? What goes on behind the scenes? What’s this all about? Stay tuned over the coming days to find out the answers to these questions and much, much more.

Where it all started, way, way back when:

Ever heard the term “Packing the Mail”?

The mighty Mongol Derby is a recreation of Chinggis Khan’s empire hustling supply routes. Örtöös (check points) were manned by nomadic families who lived along these routes and provided food, shelter, and fresh horses for the Mongolian army messengers. The Mongolian army was famous for traveling at high speeds atop their tough-as-nails horses, so these messengers needed to be faster. Urgent messages were known to travel at speeds of 200–300 kilometers (120–190 mi) per day...

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