Sat, 28 July 2018 at 23:00
After a long journey from Ulaanbaatar on a bumpy road, 232 competitors and the all staff arrived at Camp 1 in the Ruins of Khar Bukhin Balgas Palace. The sun came out and Mongolia showed off it's beauty and wildness.
After a welcome from some local musicians and performers competitors settled in to their new surroundings and meeting their tent mates for the week.
Natalie Hall from Australia describes Camp 1: "the scenery is stunning – the ruins we are staying at smell of thyme & cloves. The sun is setting and looks spectacular, pretty excited now for day 1 tomorrow"
Stephen Wise from Scotland "The scenery was just incredible – rolling hills, green steppes, wildlife. As the journey progressed, the skies cleared and we arrived at Camp 1 a glorious evening. The views across the plains is just breathtaking, as was the sunset."
Jacqui Bell from Australia "We were greated by local Mongolian performaners – music and a young girl doing some crazy cool moves! At one point she held her entire body weight in a back bend with her mouth just clentching a mental piece….ouch! Such a beautiful night here in Mongolia – the weather is absolutely perfect, everything is so green and we are set right beside a big ruins which has some history to do with Ghengis Khan"
Marc Schneider from Germany said "Now we arrived at the camp. It is a beautiful landscape and I am happy to run here from tomorrow."
It got dark around 9:30pm. Camp 1 is now peaceful with competitors inside their tents sleeping / resting. Preparing themselves for the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 to start tomorrow. 40km / 25 miles lay in wait for Stage 1.
PHOTOS from Camp 1 (and check-in): https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/photos
BLOGS from Camp 1: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/blogs
VIDEO from today: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/videos
COURSE DETAILS to show tomorrows route: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/course
Camp 1 - The Ruins of Khar Bukhin Balgas Palace
Tentmates from Tent 1 - Genghis Khan: Stephane Boss from France / Canada, Kim Hongseog and Kim Seungwoo from Korea, Dario Mariani Sung from Venezuela / United States, Christophe Santini from France, Nuno Martins from Portugal and Bruno Ribeiro from Brazil.Share
Sat, 28 July 2018 at 11:00
Today comeptitors for the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 will head to Camp 1 which is in the ruins of of an ancient Palace of the Kitan people about 3 hours drive from Ulaanbaatar.
They have had their last sleep in a comfortable, last shower and are making the most of the available food and internet connection.
The pre-race Briefing took place this morning welcoming all participants to the race and providing reminders on rules, safety and information about the course and expected weather. A special congratulations went to Wong Ho Chung, Alice Lee and Celvin Tseng from Hong Kong who won awards at the annual Hong Kong Trail Running presentation last night (but could not attend being in Mongolia). Gunnar Nielsen from Norway was also given a special mention as he was at the very original Gobi March in 2003.
Race Check-In is going on now - more than half of the competitors have already been through. All equipment is checked, forms are signed, medical doctors are met, bags are weighed and their race bib and timing chip is picked up.
Below are some quotes from the blogs about how people are feeling as they get ready for the race for start: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/blogs
Stephen Wise: "This is really different from last year in Namibia. Then, it was all new. First desert. First multi stage race. A journey into the unknown. This time, I'm supposed to know what I'm doing - even if I don't :-)"
Megan Lay from "Last night in fresh crisp sheets before a week sharing noises and smells and thoughts with now tent stangers but soon to be tent buddies. Nervous but still excited - just want to get started now. I've seen to many organic fit looking people - I need to see the whole group to find "my people"
Miguel Sagastume from Guatemala " Here in Ulaanbaatar, getting all my energy ready to go. Soon it is going to start! 250km of an epic journey."
Vicky Huffey "I’m writing this from the comfort of my hotel room, before we make the final checks and move out into the desert. I savoured clean sheets and a comfy bed last night, knowing that in the next week i’ll be sharing a tent and the noise that 8 tired racers will make, and sleeping on a thin mat on the floor. I love hearing others people’s experiences and know that i’ll Be adding my own to this. There’s a few clouds and a beautiful sunrise this morning and the weather is surprisingly cool. Can’t wait to get up into the hills and experience the wilderness that I saw from the plane. But first, time to eat my body weight in breakfast!"
Have a look at the updated informatin on the website;
PHOTOS from Race Check-In: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/photosShare
Fri, 27 July 2018 at 23:00
Less than Two days to go until the Gobi March 2018 starts! It will take place in Mongolia for the first time since the annual 250km / 155 mile, seven day ultramarathon started 15 years ago.
The competitive field includes Wataru Iino, 38, from Japan who is the 2017 winner of BadWater; Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito, 42, from Spain who was the 4 Deserts Champion in 2012 winning every 4 Deserts Race in the same year with some records still remaining as well as winning the Namib Race 2018; Wong Ho Chung, 31 from Hong Kong who was runner up in the Namib Race 2018.Others to watch include Kyle McCoy from the United States, Ben Fox from the United Kingdom / Hong Kong and Luke Atkins from Autralia.
For the women Isabelle Sauve, 42, from Canada, the Namib Race 2018 women’s champion ; Angela Zeah, 38 from Germany who is the Atacama Crossing 2017 women’s champion; and Chizuru Inoue, 45, from Japan are the favourites to win the race - but anything can happen! Others to watch include Fiona Glen from the United Kingdom, Amie Knoll-Pendleton from the United States.
Read more about the field in the feature "Who's Joing the Gobi March": https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/feature/who-is-joining-the-gobi-march-2018
Volunteer training is complete and top men and women have all complete their priority race check-in together with 4 Deserts Club Members, 4 Deserts Grand Slammers for this year and some regular alumni. Photos from today will be added to the website in the next few hours: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/photos
Be sure to follow the race with photos, videos, results, blogs, stage updates and features.
Left to right: Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong, Vicente Garcia Beneito from Spain and Wataru Iino from Japan - the three favourites to win the race.
Some of the amazing volunteers who will make the race happenShare
Thu, 26 July 2018 at 13:30
This is the first Breaking News for the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018!
In 3 days time more than 200 competitors representing 50 countries from around the world will line up to follow the footsteps of Genghis Khan racing 250 km / 155 miles across the Mongolian wilderness.
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and host town for the Gobi March, is already alive with excited racers. Jacqui Bell from Australia has been there for nearly a week already acclimistising and exploring - she is aiming to be the youngest female to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. Uncle and niece, Rene De Klein and Karin Teuben from Holland arrived today with some other competitors through Moscow but without their luggage. Most of the Little Desert Runners from Germany, Austria, Swtizerland and one Polish person have also arrived - Rafael Fuchsgruber and Tanja Schoenenborn have been exploring the town. Team Free to Run from Afghanistan start their journey today - for the two Afghan girls this is the first time they have left their country!
We recommend reading the BLOGS that are being posted as competitors arrive in Mongolia, make their final preparations for the race and explain "why" they chose to run 250km / 155 miles across the Mongolian wilderness.
You can follow the race as it happens through the website:
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 01:00
The Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 will start on Sunday, 29 July.
Breaking News will be posted four or five times during each stage to update you on the progress of the race including the leaders, the middle of the pack, the back of the pack, competitor comments, as people pass through checkpoints, the weather any other relevant information.
Subscribe to receive breaking news to your email or look here for updates as they are posted.Share
Sun, 29 July 2018 at 21:00
Stage 1 is complete!
The last competitors reached Camp 2 at 5:55pm
FULL RESULTS: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/results
Here is re-cap of Stage 1 today. The Top finishers were:
Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito from Spain, Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong and Wataru Iino from Japan - they all finished within 60 seconds of each other in just over 3 hours earlier today. Two firemen and an engineer!
1st. Angela Zeah from Germany 10th overall in 3 hours 48 minutes giving her a 30 minute lead for the women
2nd Isabelle Sauve from Canada 19th overall in 4 hours 21 minutes
3rd Chizuru Inoue from Japan 22nd overall and just 4 minutes behind Isabelle
1st: Never Give Up from Hong Kong - Alice Lee, her son Celvin Tsang and Edward Chan
2nd: Desert Turtles from Singapore - Ban Chuang Log, Dominic Tung and Chiat Wei Yao. Dominic said about today's course "Scenery was wonderful. The locals were friendly"
3rd: Team Esquel from Hong Kong, China & the United States - Juliana Batista, Chi Choi Yeung and Chun Yin Wong
There now just four teams in the race as Team Super Troppers (dressed as Abba) are continuing as individuals. A shout out to Team Free to Run which includes two ladies from Afghanistan who had a very positive day today.
Today's course was described by competitors as:
Nigel Vaughan from the United States who finished 175th in 7 hours 21 minutes "The course itself was beautiful. Vast expanse of prairies with wild flowers growing all over and framed with rocky quartz mountains. The course included a water crossing, a hill climb of about 1,000 feet and a trek through a bog before arriving at the camp.
Maik Becker from Germany who finished in 17th place in 4 hours 17 minutes "Hilly wide pastures surrounded by towering mountains have the look distracted again and again. Especially the strong scent of the Wildblueten confused the senses. The first small river crossing was also there already. And the sun is really the schleierbewoelktem sky. All in all a great scene to run.
Jacqui Bell from Australia who finised 35th overall, 6th female in a time of 5 hours and 3 minutes "The last 3km’s today as brutal – it was all MUD FLATS… the concentration to avoid face planting in the mud was ridiculous haha… happy to say I didn’t get a mud bath today although I did have my first river crossing. I spent 5 minutes trying to use stepping stones across but I slipped and ended up knee deep in water at only 10km’s in!"
Steven Wise from the United Kingdom who finished 171st in 7 hours 48 minutes describes tonights Camp "The campsite is surrounded by a sweeping plain with hills in th distance. We are beside a rock formation that ha 5,000 year old carvings and fossils of fish. Wild horses are playing in the fields as we have our dinner"
BLOGS from today are uploaded: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/blogs
These will follow shortly
PHOTOS from Stage 1: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/photos
STAGE UPDATES (posted soon): https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/stage_updatesShare
Sun, 29 July 2018 at 16:30
Quick update now at 16:30 - eight and half hours into the race.
Checkpoint 3 closed sometime ago - that was at 31.5km / 19.5 miles into the stage. Everyone passed through - no one has withdrawn so far.
201 people have completed the Stage and reached Camp 2. The most recent people to arrive were
We are just waiting for 31 more people to reach Camp 2!!!
Temperatures had reached 32C / 90F today which was higher than forecast but some could cover helped competitors to keep on going strong.
Those who have reached camp are enjoying relaxing around the camp site set in among rocks which are covered in petroglyphs (rock art), maybe from Genghis Khan or his army?Share
Sun, 29 July 2018 at 15:30
Competitors are doing well so far. As at 14:30, six and half hours into the Stage, 113 people have made it to camp completing Stage 1 of the race. That's nearly half of the field. Everyone is well over halfway (the last person left the halfway mark for today's stage at 12:30 (two hours ago).
The last nine people to complete the stage
Alex Da Roza from Hong Kong
Ian Milne from Ireland
William Chew from Malaysia
Jihee Nam from Australia
Evelijn Tjarks from Holland
Andy Nyberg from the United States
Kasia Glowacka from Poland
Cheongsin Heogwak "Zealot" from Korea
Chris Eato from New Zewaland
While Team Super Troopers, Marie-Paule Pierson from France, Julie Guttridge from the United Kingdom and Marie Maruyama from Japan dressed in full Abba gear, are all still going strong, however they may not carry on as a team - they can continue as individuals if they are not able to stay with 25 meters / 80 feet of each other (or generally quite close and within sight).
The last section of the course is a bit more technical with a rocky riverbed. Temperatures are still in the mid 20's C / late 60's F but there is some cloud cover that has come in.
We'll keep you posted as more people cross the line and send the full results in a little bit. When everyone has crossed we will have a full set of photos from today's stage.
Here is Ian Milne from Ireland Alex Da Roza from Hong Kong, Frederic Asseline from France and Kin Chung To from Hong Kong earlier today.
Sun, 29 July 2018 at 12:30
At 12:30, four hours into the race, 42 people have completed Stage1!
The winners were:
1st (joint) Vicente Garcia Beneito from Spain at 11:04 (3 hours and 4 minutes)
1st (joint) Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong at 11:04 (3 hours and 4 minutes)
3rd Watarua Iino from Japan at 11:05 (3 hours and 5 minutes)
The first woman was Angela Zaeh from Germany
Checkpoint 2 has closed. The last people to come through were Liu Sai Wai and Liu Wai Hing from Hong Kong. Some other updates from checkpoint 2 include:
Simon Wilson in 14th place
Luke Atkins in 16th place
Rafael Fuchsgruber in 23rd place
Amie Pendelton Knoll in 31st place
Jon Moore in 45th place
Tselmeg Batmunkh (Tim) from Mongolia / Ireland in 66th place
Scott Baldridge in in 99th place
Ali Chaudry in 112th place
Martina Diekmann in 113th place
Ally Lor in 124th place
The temperatures have reached 26C ./ 79F.
More from Camp 2 with the list finishes soon .....
Sun, 29 July 2018 at 09:55
Less than two hours into the race and the front of the pack are moving fast! Fourteen people have reached Checkpoint 2 already.
Checkpoint 1 has been busy!! It is just waiting for two more people before it will close.
The first people reached there in a group of four after 47 minutes for the first 10 km / 6.3 miles were:
They were closely followed by Ryan Bennet from the United States, Christophe Santini, Malcolm Brown, Kyle McCoy, William McMillian and Ben Fox all within five minutes of the first person through.
The first woman through Checkpoint 1 was Angeal Zeah in 11th place and 52 minutes. Just four minutes behind her was Isabelle Sauve from Canada.
Team Nyberg - Andy and his siblings Matthew and Krsity were enjoying the feeling. Fiona Glen was alos in great spirits.
The last people who passed checkpoint 1 in position 237, 238, 239 and 240 were Hong Kongers Liu Sai Wai and Liu Wai Hing (Wendy), Tomoko Hirabayashi from Japan and friends from Canada Karen Meades and Andrea Sloane.
P.S. Apologies for the error in the title - the race is in Mongolia not China.Share
Sun, 29 July 2018 at 08:30
At 8am this morning, Sunday, 29 July, the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 started under brilliant blue sunny skies. 232 competitors from 50 countries around the world set off across the vast grassy steppe.
Most people seem to sleep ok and were welcome by a beautiful sunrise and happy to see the blue skies. Team Super Troopers were up in full gear - you will know them when you see their photos.
Todays course is 39.8 km / 24.7 miles through open valleys with many nomadic farmers with their Gers and grazing animals. The first river crossing of the race comes 4km / 2.5 miles from the start. They will go through a small canyon and through a river bed which will be "fun" as they avoid the pot holes
The total elevation gain will be 542m /1,800 feet with 452m / 1,480 feet of descent. The whole course is just above 1,000 meters / 3,330 feet with the hightts point being 1,200 meters / 4,000 feet
Temperatures are expected to reach a beautiful 24C / 75F.
The first comptitors are expected to compelete the stage in less than 4 hours reaching Camp 2 before 12 noon. The last people will reach there before 8pm.
Will everyone finish today? Who will win today's stage?
Follow along for updates as we get them.
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 00:00
Breaking News for Stage 1 will be posted throughout the day on 29 July.Share
Mon, 30 July 2018 at 23:00
Stage 2 has concluded. It was a tough 48km / 30 mile day today with some good hills thrown in. Nigel Vaughan is becoming an expert course describer and observed on today's course "During the stage we climbed 8 “hills”, the offical elevation was 1,000 meters, about 3,000 ft, and my legs fought every inch of that over the 29 miles of the course. That puts me at 51 miles completed and 105 miles left, tomorrow will be nice to cross the 100 mile remaining stage."
227 people finished Stage 2 - there was a total of five withdrawals: Mohammed Al Qassimi, Abdulla Alahbabi, Kyle McCoy, Matt Norton and Olaf de Winter. We will see if all 227 start tomorrow's stage.
Robert Casserley said "This race surprisingly tough. Underestimate it at your cost." Rob has summited Mount Everest eight times.
Everyone seems excited about spending the night in Ger. If you are wondering what the inside of a Ger looks like - see below:
Blogs have been uploaded included some notable quotes are below.
Nigel Vaughan (again) "So I know some of the people reading this think I am crazy. There are 2 ladies doing the run dressed as Abba, one Japanese footballer who is kicking a football along the whole of the course. Then there is a guy who is doing the couse dressed in a full business dress, suit, tie and dress shirt. Now who is the crazy one!!!!"
Bethany Betzler from United States "Every day when you make it to the finish line at camp, you can hear the sound of a drum calling you in. Today, hearing that sound was the sweetest relief. But the landscape was even more majestic than yesterday."
Vicky Huffey from the United Kingdom / Hong KOng "So day 2 is now complete, and im feeling really good! Yesterday was about finding my stride. There were the most amazing clear blue sky, which goes on forever. We had boys on horseback ride across the steps and wish us ‘Welcome to Mongolia! They recognised the England flag, and we exchanged names, Vicky being easily pronouncable, theirs bing nearly impossible but big smiles all round. Some extraordinary landscapes, which I can’t do justice to by describing them here. Wild horses, and waving families."
Ryan Bennett from United States / India "I’d look out to my left, and to the hills, and you’d see adolescent boys riding horses… it felt like a scene from a movie." and about the top runners he said "it is fun to watch them tear up the course and walk around camp like nothing even happened. These guys must love to run." he also admitted that he hasn't done this distance in 4 years, not even in training, but still finished strong
Photos are going up at the moment and results will follow soon.
Tomorrow is a literally a marathon day at 42.5km / 26.5 miles and they are going into the dunes.Share
Mon, 30 July 2018 at 19:00
There is still over an hour to go before the Stage 2 cut-off time and 189 competitors have made it to Camp 3 completing the Stage. There have been 5 people to withdraw on this tough stage so we are waiting for just 38 people.
The VIDEO from Stage 1 is now up and is a brilliant re-cap of the Stage - featuring many of the competitors, you will get a good and the scenery, camaraderie and general feeling.
The last ten people to arrive were
189th place - Angela DRIES - Germany
188th place - Dav JONES - UK / Qatar
187th place - Cynthia FISH - Canada
185th place - Rishav SINGH & Bethany BETZLER
183rd place - Jakob SCHROEDER & Jesper SMIDT-NIELSEN - Denmark
182nd place - Momo GONZALEZ - Mexico
181st place - Tracy CAO, Weiyi ZHAO & Huahua JIANG - China
Competitors who have made it to Camp 3 are enjoying their Ger camp ready to spend their first night sleeping in a Ger with their new "Ger-mates".
Other notable people who came in
51st place - Ash MOKHTARI from Iran / Canada
56th place - Rebecca SINCLAIR from New Zealand and Hiruki MINAKI from Japan
68th place - Tommy JACOBSEN - Denmark
69th place - Marc SCHNEIDER - Germany
81st place - Alice LEE and her son Celvin TSENG - Hong Kong
91st place - Leon CLARENCE - UK
96th place - mother and daugther Karen WEI and Ally LOR - Canada / HK
116th place - Victoria ROIG - United States
139th place - Alexander ABIANG - United States
151st place - Team Desert Turtles - Singapore
ABOVE - The Little Desert Runners (mainly) from Germany
More photos from Camp can be seen on the website.Share
Mon, 30 July 2018 at 16:00
At 3:30pm local time - seven and half hours into the race there are 50 people who have completed the Stage and arrived at Camp 3.
11. Simon Wilson, UK
12. Junji Chikama, Japan
13. Michal Gawron, Poland
14. Ryan Bennet, United States
15. Sascha Gramm, Germany
16. Jun Seok Bin, Korea
17. Isabelle Sauve, Canada - 2ND LADY!!
18. Luke Atkins, Australia
19. Amie Pendelton Knoll, United States - 3RD LADY!!
20. Chizuru Inoue, Japan - 4TH LADY!!
21. Bruno Ribeiro, Brazil
22. Jean Mouret, France
23. Maik Becker, Germany
24. Bart Van Schilt, Holland / Belgium
25. Sam Itah, Israel
26. Andrew Perkins, Australia
27. Rafael Fuchsgruber, Germany - LITTLE DESERT RUNNERS CLUB
28. Tanja Schoenenborn, Germany - LITTLE DESERT RUNNERS CLUB
29. Hiroyuki Matsuda, Japan
30. Scott Andrews, United States
31. Yosuke Ikuta. Japan
32. Sascha Zipp, Germany - LITTLE DESERT RUNNERS CLUB
33. Orgil Rentsendorj, MONGOLIA
34. Hichame Moubarak, France / Qatar
35. Zealot Heogwak, Korea
36. Robert Casserley, UK (he has summitted Everest eight times!)
37. Reiko Kato, Japan
38. MK ROSS, Canada
39. Gabrielle Fischer Von Mollard, Germany - LITTLE DESERT RUNNERS CLUB
40. Lorenzo Cuyx Casalini, Italy
41. Andrea Molina, Italy
42. Nicola Fonatanesi, Italy
43. Yukimori Hondo, Japan
44. TO Kin Shung, Hong Kong
45. Jonathan Moore, United Kingdom
46. Yousef Khourshid, Kuwait
47. Jacqui Bell, Australia
48. Dean Roberts, Australia
49. Satu Iho, Finland
50. Karen Buckley, Australia
There have also been four withdrawals - all are ok. Mohammed Al Qassimi, Abdulla Alahabbi, Yungsung Choi and Matt Norton.
ABOVE: Sascha Zipp from Germany arriving at Camp 3. Sascha is one of 15 members of the Little Desert Runners Club who are at the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018.
A few more photos from Stage 2 can be seen on the website.
Tonight their tent is actually a Ger. A Ger is a traditional Mongolian house designed to be waterproof, warm
Mon, 30 July 2018 at 13:30
The Top 10 people have completed the 48 kms / 30 miles of Stage 2, through the Nomadic Wilderness and have arrived at Camp 3, the Sacred Rock.
Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito from Spain completed the Stage in just 4 hours and 7 minutes - that is nearly 12 km / hour solid pace for 48kms with 1,000m of elevation and a 6kg+ backpack on your back!
Top 10 are:
1. Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito from Spain - 4 hours and 7 minutes (arriving at 12:07)
2. Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong - 4 hours 8 minutes (just 43 seconds behind)
3. Wataru Iino from Japan - 4 hours 12 minutes
Then a break of 50 minutes ...
4. William McMillian from Northern Ireland - 5 hours 2 minutes
5. Takuya Wakaoko from Japan - 5 hours 4 minutes
6. Malcolm Brown from Australia - 5 hours and 7 minutes
7. Christophe Santini from France - 5 hours 9 minutes
8. Angela Zaeh from Germany (1ST WOMAN) - 5 hours 12 minutes
8. Ben Fox from the United Kingdom - 5 hours 12 minutes
10. Michael McLean (aka "Honey Badger") from Canada / Brunei 5 hours 32 minutes
The front of the pack is VERY fast - there are still only 40 people through checkpoint 3, the pen-ultimate checkpoint which is just 37 km / 23 miles into the Stage and just 11 km / 7 miles from the end.
Angela Zaeh from Germany is the first woman to finish - she finishes together with Ben Fox from the UK.
Takuya Wakaoka from Japan has a dramatic finish
More PHOTOS from the finish line of Stage 2 can be seen on the website.Share
Mon, 30 July 2018 at 11:30
We are three and half hours into Stage 2 of the Race.
The leaders, which is three runners together, are about 10km / 6 miles from the finish line. News on who they are soon.
Checkpoint 2 has had 34 people through. Checkpoint 2 is 24 km / 15 miles into the race.
While we wait for more detailed news from the Stage 2 course find your friends among the 150+ photos from Stage 1 that have been added to the website in the last few hours: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/photos
There are also Stage 1 blogs added from Ryan Bennett from the United States but currently lives in Mumbai, India - he finised 7th yesterday who loved the course so much he went out too fast. Stephane Boss from France, Bethany Betzler from New Zealand sending greetings from "somwhere in the Mongolian wilderness", Kurt Masselis from Belgium and Masifumi Morimoto from Japan.
Thumbs up from Stephane Boss from France and Jason Chou from Taiwan
Mon, 30 July 2018 at 08:30
Stage 2 of the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 started today at 8am. All 232 competitors from the start of the race started again today. Let's hope that they slept better last night - there were a few who claimed to have got no sleep before Stage 1 (read the blogs for more details)
The stage is called Nomadic Wilderness and will take them across some of the valleys that they saw yesterday with more open scenery and more nomadic farmers with their animals and Gers. Stage 2 is longer than yesterday at 48km / 30 miles there is also 1,000 m / 3,300 feet of climbing - as well as 800m / 2,600 feet of descent.
See the course page on the website for more: https://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/course
The first person is expected to finish in 4 hours and the last person in about 12 hours so by 8pm tonight.
As Maik Becker from Germany said "The nervousness among the participants is over. Now it's time to make it happen."
More sightings of camels, as well as sheep, horses, etc, exepected today. This photo is from yesterday's stage. Natalie Hall shares her highlights from Stage 1 "we had locals standing outside of their little GER (house) in the middle of know where cheering us on. At one spot there was 5 little kids about 4 years of age who gave me high fives – so cute and there was 2 young boys galloping on horses, standing up and showing off ha.
There are just a few photos from Stage 1 on the website - but more will be added today.
Do also enjoy the short VIDEO clip from Stage 1 which includes a short interview with Jihee Nam from Australia.
More from breaking news later this morning ...
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 00:00
Breaking News for Stage 2 will be posted throughout the day on 30 July.Share
Tue, 31 July 2018 at 23:59
This is the final update from Stage 3
RESULTS after Stage 3 are on the website. The is no movement in the Top 3 men, women and teams but there has been quite a lot of moving of placings further down the field.
PHOTOS from Stage 3 are on the website - there are nearly 400 to enjoy! Many of your friends who you could not find photos of before have been captured during Stage 3.
BLOGS written by 15 competitors can be read on the website
VIDEO summary from today is well worth a watch as well as the videos from the previous Stages.
221 competitors are still in the race and more than half of the distance has been covered. There have been 11 withdrawals so far
Stage 4 tomorrow is the Long March it is 70km / 44 miles which will take place over two days. It will start at 10am.Share
Tue, 31 July 2018 at 21:00
Stage 3 of the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 has finished.
At 8:10pm the last competitors reached Camp 4. The last five to complete the Stage were Masato Nakamura from Japan, Desiree Koh from Singapore, Kate Xiao from China / Hong Kong and Yogi Bhura from India.
There are 221 competitors still in the race - no more people withdrew after checkpoint 3.
Today had a bit of everything - a steep rocky climb to start, Gobi sand dunes, river crossings and a final run into Camp.
Watch the VIDEO from today to give you an idea of what they have been through.
A selection of PHOTOS from today are going up now.
There will be a delay with the RESULTS and BLOGS - we will send a message when they have gone up.
Stage 4 tomorrow is the Long March - 70km / 50 miles. The Stage will start 10am.Share
Tue, 31 July 2018 at 17:45
A quick update on Stage 3 - we are now nearly 10 hours into the Stage and there are 2 hours until cut-off.
At 5pm (45 minutes ago) there were 113 people who had completed the Stage - that is half of the racers. The most recent people to come through were Martina Diekmann from Germany, Rene De Klein and Karin Teuben from Holland, Huey Lu from Australia, Pablo Ledesma from Spain and Toni Lee from Korea.
Checkpoint 3 closed at 5:20pm which means everyone still in the race is less than 12 km / 7.5 miles from Camp and completing the Stage.
There was one more person to withdraw - Sean Chan from Singapore stopped at Checkpoint 3.
While they are enjoying the cooler temperature today they now have some rain.Share
Tue, 31 July 2018 at 14:30
Stage 3 is progressing well and people are moving fast - with a few withdrawals along the way.
As at 14:30, six and half hours into the race:
30 people have completed the stage. The most recent to cross were Sascha Zipp from Germany, Tanja Schoenenborn from Germany, Rafael Fuchsgruber from Germany, Hiro Matsuda from Japan and Andrew Perkins from Australia.
128 people were through Checkpoint 3 - with just 11.7km / 7.3miles to go. The most recent three were Fu Mei Ling and her husband Moon Ko from Hong Kong and Horst Chen from Taiwan. The Nyberg siblings Andy, Kristy and Matt came through at 13:02, 13:07 and 14:03 in 52nd, 58th and 96th position respectively. Leon Clarence from the United Kingdom came through in 95th position noting that "the weather has been very kind to us today, that would have been brutal in the heat". Grand Slammer from the United States, Scott Baldrige also appreciates the cooler weather - he went through checkpoint 3 in 89th position at 13:49. Right after checkpoint 3 is a river crossing where is no choice but to get your feet wet.
Checkpoint 2 has closed. On top of the two withdrawals from checkpoint 1 this morning Ben Franklin from Australia and Andrea Sloane from Canada have also withdrawn from the race.
The total number of people still active in the race is now 222 with a total of 10 people having withdrawn.
There is limited communications today - the satellites aren't behaving due to the cloud cover so photos will wait until tonight but I will send another breaking before the stage finishes. However take the time to look through all the content so far:
Tue, 31 July 2018 at 12:00
It is 12 noon and we are four hours into Stage 3 of the race and the first competitors have reached Camp 4 to complete the Stage!!
Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong, Vicente Garcia from Spain and Wataru Iino from Japan finished in that order but within 60 seconds of each other at 11:51.
Checkpoint 3 has had 20 people through already with everyone looking strong. Checkpoint 3 is 31km / 19 miles into the stage and just 11.km / 7.3 miles from the finish line where the drum beat will welcome them.
Checkpoint 1 was just 5km / 3 miles but it was tough going through the mountain pass with 372m / 1,200 feet straight up. However most people seemed to enjoy the challenge. The checkpoint closed at 10am with two withdrawals - Liesel Geertsema from New Zealand and Alyssa Hung from Hong Kong who did not meet the cut-off time.
ABOVE: Barbara Navarro and Guillermina Ester Rodriguez from Spain running past some cheering locals (at their Art Shop???!!!) at checkpoint 1. These ladies were in 84th and 86th position after Stage 2.
Camp 4, The Steppe of Mongolia is currently having some light drizzle.Share
Tue, 31 July 2018 at 08:30
Stage 3 of the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2018 got underway at 8am aptly named FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE DUNES. 226 competitors started this morning - Mandi FANG from China finished Stage 2 but will not start today in addition to the five people who withdrew yesterday.
A much more overcast day today which could be good as it another tough one. As the name of the stage suggests they will be going FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE DUNES. There is less distance at 42.5km / 26.5 miles and a lot less elevation with 600 meters / 2,000 feet of ascent and 716 meters / 2,350 feet to go down. However there is some very technical rocky terrain starting off through a canyon and then climbing up the mountain behind Camp (the one you can see in the photos) where they may have to use their hands to navigate a couple of steep sections. Up on the plateau they will be rewarded with views down to an old Monastery that they will head towards before going into some sand dunes later in the stage.
We still expect some super fast times at the front with the first group arriving within 4 hours or so. Everyone will want to get in so that they can rest up before the Long March tomorrow (Wednesday).
You can enjoy the following for Stage 1 and Stage 2 so far:
RESULTS so far after two Stages of the race
Hundreds of PHOTOS:
A new Stage 2 VIDEO (and another one to come soon)
15 new BLOGS after Stage 2
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 00:00
Breaking News for Stage 3 will be posted throughout the day on 31 July.Share
Thu, 2 August 2018 at 15:00
PHOTOS from Stage 4 are on the website.
Here are the last two competitors, Paul Collis from the UK and Yasmina Ganse from Sweden completing The Long March.
Results will follow soon and blogs will be sent tonight after they have been written.
The weather has not let up - it has been raining since the early hours of the morning and is expected to continue all day with the possibility of lightning. Therefore the competitors been taken to a shelter - a local Mongolian gym. Here they are able to stay dry (and dry their clothes) and get some proper rest before the final Stage 5 tomorrow (Friday).
ABOVE - alternative use for a volley ball net.
ABOVE: After a series of Top 5 finishes so far William McMillian from Northern Irealand is getting some well deserved sleepShare
Thu, 2 August 2018 at 09:30
The Long March to the Orkhon Valley is complete. The last two competitors reached Camp 5 at 8:55 this morning - they were Paul Collis from the United Kingdom and Yasmina Ganse from Sweden. They were on the course for nearly 23 hours.
The total number of people who completed Stage 4 is 217 - there were four withdrawals on this stage including the two people who did not start the stage this morning. Some other times for finishing include Sam Itah from Israel at 20:18 last night, Alex Abiang from the United States at 01:15 this morning, Roy Kesel Meilichson from Israel at 02:27 and Jakob Schroeder and Jesper Smidt-Nielsen at 06:30 this morning (3 hours ago).
Competitors will now have a full day and night to rest before Stage 5, The Battle Grounds of Genghis Khan, starts tomorrow, Friday. An 8am start is planned for the 38km / 24 mile Stage.
ABOVE: Karen Wei and her daughter Ally Lor during the Long March
ABOVE taken during the Long MarchShare
Thu, 2 August 2018 at 05:45
It is currently 05:45 and there are just 17 more competitors that are still out on the course. All are through checkpoint 6, the last checkpoint before Camp and are less than 6km / 4 miles to Camp. The last person is Paul Collis
There has been one more withdrawal today - Angela Dries withdrew at checkpoint 5.
At Camp most people are inside their tents or inside one of the Gers around the Camp.
The Stage is expected to conclude soon.Share
Thu, 2 August 2018 at 00:45
It is now 00:45 in Mongolia - nearly 15 hours into Stage 4.
128 people have completed Stage 4 with a further 90 people still continuing through the night to complete the final kilometers of the Long March and reach Camp 5 for a well deserved rest.
The most recent people to arrive at Camp and complete The Long March to the Orkhon Valley are
Checkpoint 6. the last checkpoint before camp has 184 people through - just awaiting 34 more people to reach this point. The most recent arrivals at Checkpoint 6 were Gunnar Neilsen from Sweden. Huang Hok Yuen from Hong Kong, Jay Lee from Taiwan, Tae Hwan Kim and Sunmi Yang from Korea, Vanessa Teo from Singapore and her husband Alain Esseiva from Switzerland and Vicky Huffey from the United Kingdom.Share
Wed, 1 August 2018 at 19:00
It is now 7pm in Mongolia - nine hours into the race.
17 people have completed the Long March and are recovering at Camp 5. They have until 8am on Friday morning (36 hours!) to recover, rest and relax.
In the Top 10 there are seven different nationalities! Following on from the Top 5 in the last update:
Ryan and Malcolm met in Egypt at the 4 Deserts Sahara Race 8 years ago. That is the last time they saw each other. They both unknowlingly signed up for this race and have been catching up for the last few days - what better way to catch up than to run 70kms together across the Mongolian wilderness.
CHECKPOINT 6 - 60km / 37 miles
Has had 47 people through. The last ones to arrive, between 6:30 and 6:45pm were Reiko Kato from Japan, Markus Zeigler from Switzerland, Fiona Glen from the UK, Joseph Harvey from Canada, Jean Mouret from France and Ash Mokhtari from Iran / Canada. It is a similar group that was at checkpoint 4 in my last update at 3:50pm - so it took them 2.5- 3 hours to progress forward two checkpoints.
CHECKPOINT 4 - 41 km / 25 miles
Has had 188 people through - the most recent people was a big group at 18:39 which included: Liu Sai Wai and Lui Wai Hing from Hong Kong, Vanessa Teo from Singapore and her husband Alain Esseiva from Switzerland, Asako Suzuki from Japan and Victoria Roig and Andrea Lehr from the United States.
CHECKPOINT 3 - 30km / 19 miles
Has closed with all 218 competitors still in the race going through without any problems.
Stage 4 VIDEO - part 1 is up on the website for you to see
PHOTOS from Camp this morning the race started can also be seen on the website.
P.S. If you are receiving each email twice this is a bug in the system. We are trying to resolve it. Apologies for this annoyance.Share
Wed, 1 August 2018 at 16:15
Is is 4:15pm in Mongolia - that is just eight hours into Stage 4, The Long March to the Orkhon Valley, and people are moving FAST!
At the front the top 5 competitors have passed through Checkpoint 6 - they have just 10.1km / 6.3 miles to complete the Long March! Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong has a 30 minute lead on Wataru Iino from Japan. T
1st - Wong Ho Chung @ 15:05
2nd - Wataru Iino @ 15:35
3rd - Takuya Wakaoko @ 16:09
4th - Angela Zaeh (LEADING LADY!!!) with Ben Fox @ 16:12
Checkpoint 2 has closed - the sweepers left with the last two competitors Stephane Boss from France and Kate Xiao from Hong Kong. Stephane is usually further forward but has been having some stomach troubles - he is doing fine just going slowly.
Sad news is that there is one more withdrawal, Hasina from Afghanistan in Team Free to Run has badly bruised her ankle and has not been allowed to continue. There are currently 218 competitors still in the race.
Checkpoint 4 had 52 people through at 3:50pm. The most recent people to go through are listed below. This can give you an idea of how close everyone is and how many different nationalities there are - and that the nationality doesn't matter when you're out on the course.
Here is a picture from CP4 - all smiles here!
Wed, 1 August 2018 at 14:00
Stage 4 is well underway. It is 2pm - 4 hours into the race, and the leaders have passed checkpoint 4 - that is approximately 40km / 25 miles into the 70km / 44 mile Stage
There is a CORRECTION to my starter number this morning. 219 competitors started - the leader after Stage 3, Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito from Spain was given a 5 minute time penalty for not following the rules in yesterday's stage. He then decided not to start. Pablo Ledesma from Spain also did not start today.
At checkpoint 4, Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong has a 10 minute lead on Wataru Iino from Japan who has 10 minutes on 3rd place Takuya Wakaoka also from Japan.
Checkpiont 1 closed with all 219 competitors passing through.
Checkpoint 2 has 149 people through. In the last five minutes the following competitors reached the checkpoint: Chun (Carlos) Kong from China, Team Desert Turtles from Singapore - Dominic, Chiat Wei and Ray, Tomer Simonov from Israel, Jie Chen from China, Yutaka Fujioka from Japan, Sumanth Cidambi from India, Nigel Vaughan from the United States, Teppei Kondo and Nozomi Yasumura from Japan and Alex Abiang from the United Statse
Checkpoint 3 has 26 people through.Share
Wed, 1 August 2018 at 10:40
Stage 4 is underway. 221 competitors set off altogether from Camp 4 in the Mongolian Steppe for the Long March. Today is the big one. 70km / 44 miles with 1,300 meters / 4,300 feet foelevation gain.
The race started at 10am - a little later to give people a bit more recovery time after an epic but tiring day yesterday.
The end result of the cooler temperatures yesterday was a rainy evening. However the sun came out this morning for the start but today will be a mixture of rain, sun and wind.
The leaders of the Men, Women and Team categories remain unchanged after Stage 4 but anything can change today.
A bit of a shout out to some of the people in the field. The leaders are phenomenally fit and fast but there are also some others out there
Ishihara Yoshiaka from Japan is 73 years old and is currently place 162 out of the 221 competitors
Moo Woong Lee from Korea is 75 years old and is currently placed 207
Team Free to Run includes two ladies from Afghanistan. Sport is not something that is common for ladies in Afghanistanand training for something like this is not welcomed. These ladies are part of the charity Free to Run which is about empowering women through sport. These two ladies have left Afghanistan for the first time to come to the race.
Don't forget to have look at the VIDEOS, PHOTOS, BLOGS and RESULTS from the race so far: WWW.4DESERTS.COM/GOBIMARCH/LIVEShare
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 00:00
Breaking News for Stage 4 will be posted throughout the day on 1 and 2 August.Share
Fri, 3 August 2018 at 20:00
Stage 5 is complete! All 217 competitors survived the Battle Grounds of Genghis Khan and are very happy at Camp 6 - the Old Orkhon River
RESULTS are going up soon
PHOTOS are going up now - there will be a total of 240 from Stage 5
BLOGS will go up in a few hours (when they have been written)
Tomororw is the final day of the Gobi March 2018. Stage 6 is 10km / 6 miles starting at 7am and finishing inside the UNESCO Hertiage Site of the Karakorhin Monastery.
Fri, 3 August 2018 at 18:00
It is 6pm - already more than nine hours into Stage 5. There are just 3 more people to complete the stage. No withdrawals today (so far)!
Below, in reverse order, are the last few groups to come in:
213th - Yasmina Ganse from Sweden and Yui Hirabayashi from Japan @ 17:28
209th - Kate Xiao from Hong Kong, Yoo Dong Hyeon and Toni Lee from Korea, Masato Nakamura from Japan @ 17:24
207th - Andrea Lehr and Victoria Roig from the United States @ 16:54
203rd - Megan Lay from Australia, Taylor Smith from the United States, Zeinab from Afghanistan and Paul Collis from the United Kingdom @ 16:37
The three people who are still to reach Camp are: Liu Pingwu, Andrea Loew, Gunnar Nilsson but they are on their way.
ABOVE - Camp 6. What a difference a day can make!
ABOVE: Relaxing in the sunshine
There are a few more PHOTOS from Camp 6 on the website.
You can also enjoy new PHOTOS from the Rest Day (yesterday) when comptitors were treated to a Naadam Festival competition - look under Stage 4.Share
Fri, 3 August 2018 at 14:45
At 14:45 there are 144 people who have completed Stage 5. Just 73 people left to arrive.
The top 31 are in the previous breaking news. The next ones follow on here:
32nd - Jun Seok Bin, Markus Zeigler, Tanja Schoenenborn, Orgil Rentssendorj, Jonathan Moore @ 12:41
37th - Nicola Fontanesi, Dean Roberts, Kim Yoo, MK Ross, Jospeh Harvey @ 12:49
42nd - Ash Mokhtari, Kristy Nyberg, Yutaka Fujioka, Yosuke Ikuta @ 12:51
46th - Fiona Glen, Satu Iho, Bruno Seguin, Karen Buckley, Steve Lyons @ 12:58
51st - Serlina Eng, Andy Oh, Kin Chung TO, Andy Nyberg, Reiko Kato @ 13:03
56th - Hongseok Choi, Zealot Heogwak, Rebecca Sinclair @ 13:06
59th - Assaf Abutbul, Ian Milne, Alex Da Roza, Nuno Martins @13:10
63rd - Jerry Jeschka, Tomek Zysko, Tommy Jacobsen, Haruki Minaki, Sascha Zipp, Huey Lu, Evelin Tjarks @ 13:19
70th - Tomotaka Kamei, Stephane Boss, Avi Blaiberg, Jacqui Bell, Sabina Bacinelli
75th - Gabrielle Fischer, Sandy Mouret, Kean Wah Yeap, William Chew @13:34
79th - Andrea Loew, Antje Wensel, Kasia Glowacka, Doerte Schreinert, Stephan Schwabe, Alice Lee, Celvin Tsang, Edward Chan (1st TEAM), Carl Chan @ 13:36
88th - Marek Rybiec, Barbara Navarro, Guillermina Ester Rodriguez, Tselmeg (Tim) Batmunkh @ 13:47
92nd - Hiro Ozuru, Wah Choon Wong, Kurt Masselis, Robert Casserley @ 13:48
96th - Yungsung Choi, Ali Chaudhry, Miguel Sagastume, Tomer Simonv, PT Lam @ 13:53
101st - Chun Yin Wong, Juliana Batista, Chi-Choi Yeung (2nd TEAM), Olle Chen, Horst Chen @ 13:59
106th - Andrea Molina, Russell James, Tomoko Hirabayashi, Koichi Usui @ 14:04
110th - Yousef Khourshid, Ally Lor, Karen Wei, Abhay Sapru, Alex Abiang, Hok Yuen Huang, Wai Man Lee, Tracy Cao, Weiyi Zhao, Hua Hua Jiang, Liam Fernyhough @ 14:10
121st - Chung Kong, Dario Mariani Sung, Kerstin V. Scheidt, Jason Chou, Chris Eato @ 14:17
126th - Katsuwari Iwaki, Nozomi Yasamura, Teppei Kondo @ 14:23
129th - Takehiro Naganuma, Masafumi Morimoto, Yoshiaki Ishihara, Jihee Nam, Wataru Tabuchi, Mandeep Mann @ 14:26
135th - Chiat Wei Yeo, Dominic Tung, Ray Low (3rd TEAM), Dalip Bhalla @14:31
139th - Christine Wong, Wilson Tong, Natalie Hall, Martina Diekmann @ 14:35
No more photos yet, but hope to have more in few hours - then full upload of more than 200 when everyone has finished.Share
Fri, 3 August 2018 at 12:45
It is now 12:30 in Mongolia. Stage 5 of the Gobi March has been going for 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Checkpoint 1 has closed with all 217 competitors successfully through.
Camp 6 has received 31 competitors already. A days rest, a shorter stage and sunshine means people are moving FAST.
1. Wong Ho Chung @ 11:20 - that is 2 hours 35 mins to run 31kms!!!!
2. Wataru Iino @ 11:25
3. Takuya Wakaoka @11:26
4. Christophe Santini, Michael McLean, Malcolm Brown and William McMillan @ 11:51
8. Angela Zaeh (1st FEMALE), Ben Fox, Luke Atkins @ 12:06
11. Rafael Fuchsgruber, Sascha Gramm, Ryan Bennett and Junji Chikama @ 12:10
15. Isabelle Sauve (2nd FEMALE), Bart Van Schilt, Michal Gawron and Simon Wilson @ 12:17
16. Sam Itah, Maik Becker, Yukimori Hondo, Hiroyuki Matsuda, Bruno Ribeiro @ 12:25
24. Chizuru Inoue, Amie Pendleton-Knoll (joint 3rd FEMALE), Scott Andrews, Hichame Moubarak @ 12:32
28. Andrew Perkins, Jean Mouret, Lorenzo Cuyx and Marc Schneider @ 12:34
ABOVE: Angela Zaeh retains her lead for the women coming in 8th overall in a time of 3 horus 21 minutes.
After crossing the finish line comeptitors have a short boat ride across the river. This was previously a river crossing, but the levels have risen so high that they now get to be taken across by the Rafting Association of Mongolia(!) in their boats. They can then enjoy an afternoon basking in the sunshine at Camp 6.
ABOVE: Wong Ho Chung being taken across the river by the Mongolian Rafting Association (and the RacingThePlanet Course Director Carlos).
A few more PHOTOS from today can be seen on the website
Those who are doing the Friends & Family Experience will arrive at Camp 6 this afternoon to experience Camp Life, eat Expedition Foods meals, sleep in a tent (not with their friends) and then complete the final stage tomorrow - or be driven to the finish line to meet their friends when they complete the race.Share
Fri, 3 August 2018 at 09:15
Stage 5, The Battle Grounds of Genghis Khan.
The sun is shining again! The stage started this morning 08:45. 217 competitors will take on the Genghis Khan Battle Grounds - many of them fighting their own battles with sore knees, ankles, stomachs, feet, etc.
The course today is slightly shortened at 31km / 18 miles. It will end with a river crossing - that may end up being a boat crossing.
ABOVE: Sunrise this morning at the "Camp 5" Gym in Karakorhin.
Watch VIDEOs from the Long March (Stage 4) and the rest of the stages
Read BLOGS after the Long March written from the Mongolian gymnasium
Look at the RESULTS after Stage 4 to see the placings so far
Read features on Tselmeg Batmunkh the Mongolian who has lived in Ireland for 17 years and found the race as a perfect way to re-explore his roots as well as the Best of the Blogs
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 00:00
Breaking News for Stage 5 will be posted throughout the day on 3 August.Share
Sat, 4 August 2018 at 08:00
Competitors took The Final Footsteps of the Ancient City of Karakorhin today. The race started at 7am for 10km / 6 mile final Stage and they are finishing in the UNESCO Site of the Karakorhin Monastery.
Tue, 24 July 2018 at 00:00
Breaking News for Stage 6 will be posted throughout the day on 4 August.Share