70-Year-Old Man Wins 1,000-Kilometer Horse Race in Mongolia ~ NYT

“Preparation trumps youth,” said the winner, Bob Long, who “hated” to think that he couldn’t complete the Mongol Derby, a grueling contest across the steppes of Mongolia.

Credit Sarah Farnsworth/The Adventurists

Bob Long, 70, just became the oldest person to finish what Guinness World Records calls the longest multi-horse race in the world. He also came in first.


“It’s nothing,” he said shortly after crossing the finish line of the Mongol Derby last Thursday. “You just ride 650 miles on a death march.”

The annual race, a grueling 1,000-kilometer competition across the steppes of Mongolia held over 10 days, traces the former mail routes of Genghis Khan with riders changing horses every 40 kilometers, according to the website for the Adventurists, the travel organization behind the contest and other real-world obstacle courses. (Its site says it’s “fighting to make the world less boring.”)

Lara Prior-Palmer, who in 2013 became the youngest person — and first woman — to win the race, at 19, described the event in her recent memoir “Rough Magic“ as the “Tour de France on unknown bicycles.

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