I mentioned last week that The Gobi March would be getting underway yesterday, and sure enough, the first two stages are in the books. You can read the Stage 1 report here and Stage 2 here.
It seems like the race is off to a good start. The first stage was 35km in length and moved down shepards’ paths through the valleys of the region, crossing a nearby river several times on footbridges that would only support a few racers at a time. The race even passed through some villages that have never been visited by foreigners before, bring many curious onlookers out to see what was going on. At the end of the day, it was Danish racer Henrik Eiberg who crossed the finish line first.
Stage 2 was 38km in length, but now the racers had suffered through a similar length the day before, and some were feeling the strain of running nearly a marathon the day before. Still, more than 170 competitors remain in the race, and today’s course took them through the Tiznap River gorge for 19 straight kilometers. The race continued up into the hills, racing along the over flowing banks of the river itself, until it ended in the village of Langer, the end of the second stage. Lucy Brooks and Stephen Hilton, both of the U.K. crossed the finish line together, to claim the stage win.
At this point of the race, W. Rowley Aird of the United Kingdom has the over all lead Annick J.E. Berghman of the U.S. is the top female competitor, currently ranked 11th overall. There are four more grueling stages to go however, so the race is still up in the air at this point.
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