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August 18, 2019

Category: Mongol Derby

Day 10: 

Theres some that you can trust 

And some that will leave you in the dust 

And the wild ones who shake you up inside 

But you’ll always remember the ride 

-Kim Williams/Michael Harrell 

It was as if Mother Nature and Mongolia collaborated on creating the perfect day for the end of an epic horse race: Day 10 of the Derby began with a crisp clear morning, no sign of the cold wet weather that had prevailed ten days ago.  

The excitement began to build bright and early, as our intrepid Michael (MF), who had made a break away from the backpack to land at HS28 last night, was due to ride in shortly after breakfast. If there was an award for Most Tenacious, or even Most Entertaining, it by rights should belong to Michael. Since losing his horse on Day 4 in the infamous river incident, he had been dogging it out at the back, cobbling bits and pieces of kit together, at one point calling upon the good graces of the crew to scare up a sleeping bag and deliver it to his door. What cheek! But he earned everyone’s respect by refusing to give up, by plucking on ahead and setting himself up for a triumphant ride to the finish on Day 10. Mrs Michael, on hand at finish camp and captaining the finish line horizon scouting crew, frequently popped into HQ to check on his progress. I’m not sure who was more excited – HQ or Mrs Michael. He would soon be finished! No more Michael escapades! But how boring! And shortly after 9 am, Michael crossed the finish line, bringing his Derby experience to a close.  

Sarah Farnsworth (photographer).

The final riders who had overnighted at HS27 were away from their station shortly before 7 am, and rode in shortly before noon: Esther (EL), Aly (AM), Francis (FD), Taggert (TV), Katie (KH), and Catherine (CK) brought the Derby home, and riders, crew, and supporters alike simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief tempered with a shade of sadness as the Derby came to a close. 

Sarah Farnsworth (photographer).

As a final hurrah, however, the Blood Wagon’s walking wounded RR, AB, AD, JK, SC, NC, ASB, and EM were ferried to HS28 where they raced the Blood Wagon to the finish line in what we promptly dubbed the Zombie Ride. I’m happy to report all survived the ride intact, and no brains were eaten in the process.    

It is always tremendously satisfying to wrap up another successful Derby; to reflect on the highs and lows, to share the stories and relive the moments that have become a legendStrangers who came together a few weeks ago parted as close friends. What an amazing ten days it has been. As riders, families, and crew wing their way to all parts of the globe, we will relive the memories, and we will always remember the ride. Until next time…

Result board

1st Robert L

2nd Weisman N

3rd Sarah B, Jesse B, Margreet V

7th Frank W

8th Sam C

9th Zsofia H

10th Elise S

11th Lucinda K

12th Kelsey E

13th Julia Conway

14th Katie Angus

15th Ben Materna & Linda Vegher

17th Sampie Mokoakoe

18th Linda Van Gorkum

19th Annette Killer

20th Rachel Roman

21st Micheal Field

22nd Katie Hasse

23rd Aly Van Der Meulen

24th Francis Delaey & Taggert VinZant

26th Catherine Kennedy

27th Esther Leenen