re-sized racingtheplanet - deserts

2nd ranked endurance race in the world

The Gobi March continues. Only one more day to go though, and so many of the competitors still going strong – even when the going gets really tough.. Extreme sport, extreme courage, extreme challenge, extreme perseverence… well done to all of them.

I am going to show you a series of videos from racingtheplanet over the past few days, starting with Stage 2 as I have previously aired Stage 1. Plus I’m going to give you a few more facts and figures about this extreme endurance race…

  • The Gobi March is an ultramarathon, adventure race, expedition race and extreme race all rolled into one…
  • It’s a 250km race over a period of 6 days…
  • The Gobi March is now the largest international sporting event in Western China. The majority of the area where the Gobi March is being held is closed to tourists, requiring special permits…
  • 175+ athletes compete…
  • 38 is the average age…
  • 35 countries are represented…
  • 30 athletes will not finish…
  • 25% will be aged 40 – 49…
  • 19 is the age of the youngest competitor…

  • It will be 110* Fahrenheit (43.3* C) after noon…
  • The event is set up to allow for generous cutoff times. The leaders run the whole course, and many walk the whole course…
  • Each competitor will carry a 20 lb (+/-) food and gear pack…
  • 10,000 calories will be burnt daily…
  • 20 + pounds will be lost in bodyweight over the 6 days…
  • (sounds like the perfect diet to me!!!)

2 competitors, French Valerie Autissier and Cyril Goss, are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary on the March…

At the end of Stage 5, German sisters Larissa Hippchen and Caroline Kracht, said, “The stage was long and the river bed never ending,” but they were thrilled to cross the finish line…

Simone Bishop (South Africa), Kimberley Dods (South Africa) and Hannah Sandling (United Kingdom) have been nicknamed ‘The Glamour Girls’.

Current status at the end of Stage 5 finds Eric LaHaie still at the top.

Eric LaHaie (United States) and Riel Carol (France) crossed the finish line together at the end of Stage 5 at 17.50.29 . The pair had run for the past 40km in a duo. “There was no way I could have kept that pace if I had been alone,” said Riel. LaHaie and Riel were running at a pace of just under a 9 minute mile, picking up the pace as they neared the finish line. For the first 50km, Riel had LaHaie in his target, but as the pair began to tire through the grueling stage, they admitted to relinquishing competitive ambition to see it more as a shared experience. LaHaie said, “I was in bad shape for the first part of the stage, and my knees were giving out, but when Riel caught up with us I said to him, ‘you set the pace, I’m going with you.’”

Sean Abbott (United States) who had remained in the top three throughout the race came into camp at 17.59.17. Abbott was greeted by the top two who shared first place for the stage, placing him in second place today.

And why take part in something as extreme as this? As RacingThePlanet says, it’s “life enhancing for all, life changing for many.”

You would think that once the racers had reached camp, they would collapse in a heap until they had to drag their weary bodies out for another day of racing, but then you would think wrong! Witness camp life:

That’s it for today, the Day 5 video is not yet available…

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