Gobi March Blogs

View All Posts From : Elisabeth Forsman

Are You Sure We're In The Desert?

5th June 2013 01:54 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Today was great. I can't tell for sure whether its just all the happy pills I was given by our awesome medics yesterday or if my body is finally cooperating with what my mind wants but today was actually not bad at all. There were a lot of gentle rolling hills with intermittent rain and the 9 hours that I spent on the course were actually enjoyable. I was hurting most of the day, but it wasn't half as bad as it has been.
It became obvious that after my meltdown after the finish yesterday that a lot of people were questioning whether or not i could finish this race, the pain in my left leg was just that bad. I had a medic check with me this morning whether i really wanted to keep going, which of course I did. If I go out, I better go down in a ball of flame afterall. everyone is looking at me with new eyes today, and I've been told that I have real heart :)
My biggest issue is now that my right gaiter was ripped to shreds in the morning letting all the rocks from the gravel roads in. 7 new blisters on my right foot as a result. Far from ideal, still manageable though. Everything has been taped up now and hopefully I can take on tomorrow.
It has been raining almost non stop though. Nights are awful in that you can't leave the tent to use the toilet since the sky is pissing down rain. I got caught in the rain several times today as well. I really don't think that we're in the desert anymore... It is probably all a scam.
Won't write too much because I am starving and need sleep, but tomorrow is the long day. 75 kilometers!!!! Wish me luck and keep the positivity rolling in! Thanks everyone!

Comments: Total (13) comments

Karl Forsman

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 02:29 AM

You looked very happy on the picture which was posted earlier today. It was great to see. Mamma and I have studied it over and over again. Mamma made a collage of the pictures of you on her computer. We spend most of our days looking for news about your progress. Of course, you will complete the race. One long day and then you are almost at the finish line. Your will power will carry you through and give you a chance to enjoy the day. We are looking forward to your next report. Pappa

Richard Webb

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 02:33 AM

Awesome effort again Lis! You are simply amazing! I knew this, of course, but it's great to see now everyone is learning just how impossibly tough you are - yourself included. I'm so incredibly proud of you. It's great to see you're enjoying it more now too. In a couple of days, the pain will have faded and you'll be looking back wishing you could be back out there again, so soak it up while you can. You're almost there!!

Lucy Brinkley

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 03:00 AM

Congratulations Lis for making it this far! I'm not surprised, but definitely in awe. My family cannot get over just how determined and fit you are. You are the physically toughest person I know. Wish I was out there with you. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...wait wrong sport (silly habit). But in all seriousness, after you get through the 75k there is NOTHING that will keep you from accomplishing any of your goals. You ROCK!

Kathleen Grey

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 03:06 AM

Anyone who has ever met you knows how much heart you have young lady. We all know you will finish the race. Now get your brain and ass behind that big thing in your chest and enjoy what you are doing, where you are and the amazing people you are with and getting over that finish line!!

Poh Choo Sim

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 03:11 AM

Liz!!! you're too awesome to let a bit of pain to stop you from finishing. You kick pain in the butt every time and accomplish your goals no matter what curve ball is thrown! So kick ass and maybe as a bonus to finishing the journey, I'll pop by to hk to visit you in the coming months?? ;) <3 simi

Lihui G

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 05:47 AM

You look fierce in the photo!! You go girl!! Good luck! XOXO

Pearly Chen

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 08:34 AM

Go Lis, what a relief that the physically and mentally toughest is already far behind you and that you are starting to love it!By the time you read this you would have only had 14km to go for the last stage, you came SO FAR and with incredibly admirable strength. I am so proud of you and can't wait to go get a massage with you up your return ;-) Enjoy the last bits of the march! I read that you sent in your Madagascar deposit already and went back to dig out that email in my inbox- really, really tempted. You are now the one to inspire me :-) how awesome are you!

Hsin-yu Wang

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 10:36 AM

I have been reporting on you to the other teachers at school and showing them your pictures. They are your age and they are amazed--by your courage and daring. They asked if I'd skydived when I was pregnant with you! This is some undertaking little girl. Smell the roses.

Wei Zhou

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 12:13 PM

I believe in your Liz! You can do it!

Jan-chih Wang

Posted On: 06 Jun 2013 22:02 PM

My dear Ebet, I have read your messages of the previous 5 days. I am impressed that you have the power and determination to keep going. Hope you get through the final two days quickly and safely.

Lisa Moore

Posted On: 07 Jun 2013 01:13 AM

Incredible job Lady, I'm sure every second is intensely alive - love the visuals of torrential rains, sandy slopes, gravel fallout. Not long to go - enjoy!!!

Karl Forsman

Posted On: 08 Jun 2013 02:38 AM

Lis, what an achievement. You have accomplished something incredible. I hope you can get a little rest and recover. We have seen all the pictures of blisters and hope yours heal quickly. Congratulations. We are all very impressed. You have become a celebrity among my friends and co-workers. Pappa

Matthew Wunder

Posted On: 13 Jun 2013 11:00 AM

Lis, Very excited for you here in the Westport NM office. We had no idea the warrior / competitor that lie within you! You sound like you're having the time of your life -- great that you're documenting so you can share with future Wang Forsmans :) Rock on! MW
Pain By The Bucket

4th June 2013 02:29 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

First off, thank you everyone for all the amazing comments, you all really have no idea how much it all means to me. every single one of your comments is a serious mental boost. it really helps to keep me going knowing that everyone is looking out for me and supporting me.


Stage 3 is finally over! It took well over 10.5 hours to finish and the pain was incredible. It took well over 2.5 hours for me to get over the most difficult hill today and I really thought my left leg was going to fall off. I cried all the way through the last 3km of today’s stage. The only thing that kept me going was this incredible need to see this through, which helped limit the pain until I hobbled over the finish line, as well as the company of another New Yorker, Michael, who walked with me the entire way from check point one to finish.


The hill though, that nearly did me in. 500 meters up with a 22 degree incline. I wanted to roll over and die right there, maybe let the cows trample me, but having support from another competitor really helped ease the mental pressure of it all. It was beautiful going up the hill as well, there was a river running through it and everything around was green. We had to climb over 3 cable bridges to get to there as well. I felt seasick on each one as they bounced around and it took everything I had in me to keep my head level.


The downhill did not make it much easier either. Gravel roads. I never want to see one again. They add so much pressure with every step and even with lots of padding in my hiking boots I could feel everything in my feet. Richard, I am not converting to barefoot running, not after this. Thankfully no new blisters, though I am completely numb at the moment. The volunteers had to rub the life back into my legs once I got over the finish line. I am sure there is lots of footage of my crying online now as well, screaming about how I couldn’t understand why I was doing this anymore, but I am done now.


Halfway there! At this point I have to finish. mentally, I just need to get this done, though I know that the pain is only going to get worse. At least today was meant to be the most difficult day and the medical team has given me lots of painkillers to deal with my leg.


I miss home, my loved ones and my simple creature comforts, but its all a process, and I will be home in less than a week at least.


Wish me luck for stage 4 tomorrow! Please keep the positivity flowing in, after today, I really really need it.


Lots of love!



Comments: Total (17) comments

Lihui G

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 02:48 AM

I'm sorry that you're in so much pain :( But a massive well done for getting through the 3 stages!!! Just so you know there may be some delay in getting your latest update, as I came to your blog a few times yesterday and saw no new post. I got 2 new posts this morning, about half an hour apart thou. Not sure if this is happening to others. Anyway, always thinking of you even when a new post doesn't come through in time! Lots love and hugs, Lihui

Richard Webb

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 04:33 AM

Well done babe! I'm so proud of you for pushing on. As you say, the hardest day is behind you, and by the time you read this you'll be even closer to that glorious finish line. Good luck tomorrow with the long march. Just keep reminding yourself that once you get through it, you just have a short day left and you're done! I know how mentally strong you are and I know you will make it. The pain is temporary, but the bragging rights and crazy stories will last a life time, so keep it up! You are completely and utterly awesome.

Pearly Chen

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 05:29 AM

Rocket Lis you are AMAZING. Pain is temporary but what follows will last forever. I think Richard is sold on Madagascar by now. Keep going, you are my SUPER STAR!

Richard Webb

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 06:18 AM

MADAGASCAR!! Yes Pearly, I think you're right. I just hope you can accept that she is, in fact, MY superstar :)

Rebekka Kristin

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 06:39 AM

We've never met - I'm doing the Iceland race in 2 months time. I got goosebumps reading your blog, feeling your pain and admiring the courage it must take to carry on. You're right, you've got to finish this now! Sending you all the strength I can, will check again tomorrow for updates. I hope it encourages you to see that you're inspiring total strangers, what you are doing is truly amazing. Good luck !

Valerie Ho

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 06:43 AM

Hi lizzy!! I teared up in the gym while reading your entries N everyone thought I was breaking up with someone or smth.... I literally cried hearing about you pushing through the pain. You are our hero!! When there is a will, there is always a way. I'm praying for no new blisters, more gentle hills, and race companions for you!!! Hope the life has been breathed back into your legs and the pain stays away.... You are so awesome, don't give up!!!!! We are all behind you, mentally there every step of the way!!!!! Xoxoxoxx val

Bill & Shannon Ng

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 06:49 AM

We are so proud of you! Remember who you're doing this for! Keep it up. Stories for a lifetime!

Charles W

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 07:16 AM

Nice work Lis. When those low points come along, as they will, remember how Gordy Ainsleigh described it when he decided to do the unthinkable and run the whole 100 miles of Western States on foot rather than on a horse; "what should I do? Quit? "No!" my mind screamed. "I can't quit!" The very thought of quitting was a horror gnawing within me. So I posed the next question: What can I do? And the answer came back from the hollow desperation deep inside my soul: I can still put one foot in front of the other, can't I? For once the answer came back--"Yes!" This was the defining moment, with everything that had gone before building toward it, and everything afterward forever changed by it. And, as such things so often are, it was so simple. The decision formed in my mind, and I made a commitment to it: I would keep putting one foot in front of the other until I could no longer put one foot in front of the other. It didn't take a genius. All it took was complete and total commitment. Today, in our enlightened state, we would call my decision quasi-suicidal. Race directors and medical directors would wax long and eloquent about how there is always another day-provided you don't do something incredibly stupid out there today. But remember I was doing this run before we became enlightened, before we knew better. And besides, I was 27 years old and nearly immortal!" We are all looking forward to seeing your final post when you finish! Cheers, CMW. After the experience in Gobi, MADagascar should be a breeze

Lucy Brinkley

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 07:38 AM

One of my old swim coaches used to say, "pain is weakness leaving your body." Think about all the weakness that's left yours and how much stronger you are as a result. I'm insanely proud of you! Yes, you're halfway there and YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

Lisa Forsman

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 07:41 AM

Lis I can't imagine how tough it must be for you. I wish you all the best of luck for the next leg and hope it will be easier than the last one. Keep going! Lots of love Lisa

Lori Sedlacek

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 10:06 AM

Lis, you are one of the strongest people I know! You totally got this. You've been prepping for months to get to this point I know you got this!

Hsin-yu Wang

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 10:36 AM

Pops and I were holding vigil over the website and are so happy to see your two posts. Lisa was good enough to email us your photo and the "breaking news" about you. You look fabulous in your photo, happy, strong and with curls on your head! It was comforting to see. Where ever you go, whatever you do, our hearts follow you. Much Love, Mom.

Karl Forsman

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 10:48 AM

Wow!! We are so happy to see you smiling at the finish line. What an achievement. You are incredibly strong. Just get through the next day and the rest will be a breeze and then you will have stories to tell for the rest of your life. We are sooo proud of you.

Siam Sattayaphan

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 11:55 AM

Way to Go Lizzy, just read that you are through stage 4 past half way now! just one foot in front of the next. HK - CC!

Laou M

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 13:39 PM

I have been following your progress. I know that you can do it! You are one of the toughest minds that I have ever met. Best of luck, Lis! I'll be sending good vibes your way. : )

Savka Kovacevic

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 13:46 PM

While other people are sitting on their butts and watching the reality shows on how other people live their lives, YOU ARE LIVING YOURS TO THE FULLEST !! YOU GO GIRL !!! THE KOVACEVIC GANG VERY PROUD OF YOU

Stephanie Zhang

Posted On: 05 Jun 2013 15:35 PM

Lis you are a Wonder Woman! Love to read about your experience in Gobi, it's painful and beautiful at the same time!! I have faith in you the most lovely New Yorker! GO GO GO!!! Lots love and support! Steph Xxx
170 To Go

3rd June 2013 02:31 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Whoever said that today would be an easy day is full of it. Today was horrific, I can not bare to walk. It took me another 9.5 hrs to get through the day, and tomorrow is marked as ‘very difficult’ which makes me extremely nervous. Between the steep hills, the rock littered paths, the extreme winds and the rain, today was a nightmare.


I spent a good 20minutes of today, just after checkpoint bawling my eyes out. I genuinely did not think that I was going to finish the day. My left knee was on fire and the wind forced me to spend much time walking sideways. I was lucky enough to run into a Korean bloke at about 2km into the final section today to walk with. Neither of us knew any of what the other was saying but it was wonderful to have someone to stay next to, the pitter patter of our poles syncing up as we screamed our heads off.


Coming around the corner though to see the campsite in the end was wonderful. The two of us ran over the finish line together to the beating drum, signaling the end of the course. The camp is beautiful tonight. Its lush and green, with a river running through. I was able to take a quick dip, rinse my hair and wash my face. Unfortunately I have discovered two new blisters on my right foot. Nothing could have prepared me for these. I really thought all those years of running around barefoot would save me. Apparently a massive pack does not help anything. My shoulders have started chafing as well. I have had to tape both shoulders, they’re so sore from the weight..


Nothing to do now though but tape myself together stretch and eat. I’m terrified for tomorrow, but please, wish me luck!!!

Comments: Total (0) comments

1 Down, 5 To Go

2nd June 2013 02:08 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

9.5hrs, 42km, 2 blisters and 1 chaffed back later Stage 1 is done! That was stupid painful, but it was amazing. There were sheep and camels galour along the course and at one point I had two camels following me down the trail. A very bizarre experience to say the least. The Gobi is so much greener than I could have ever imagined. Everywhere is grassy and leafy and the rock walls come out of nowhere. There were times when it really killed and my shoulders feel like they've concaved in a bit from the weight of my pack (I'll have to dump food tonight).  The jelly beans have been absolutely amazing though. Best sugar boost ever.  
I was lucky enough though to be in presence of a lovely Kiwi woman for various parts of the race, who was amazing for words of encouragement.
The Chinese army is watching us like a hawk at the moment. They've been guarding the campsites and every once and awhile you'll see them perched on a mountain. Its a bit eerie, but hopefully that means that it will be harder for me to get lost and end up off course.
At this point I'm just so happy to be done with the first stage. Tomorrow is meant to be an "easy" day, only 41.7km... The long march apparently has been shorted to 75km, so I'm pretty happy about that. Yes, its still 75km, but it really does make all the difference in the world.
Vivian Kan, if you're reading this, your dad is seriously badass. I'm very impressed. He's kicking my butt at this point.
Wish me luck getting through Stage 2!

Comments: Total (15) comments

Hsin-yu Wang

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 02:33 AM

So good to read your latest blog. Hope you have a good day two and your back gets a rest as you eat and/or cast off the ballast. Several competitors have referred to the Chinese Army keeping watch. I'm sure it's to keep you tourists from getting lost. Looking forward to hearing more about your experience. We are following your progress closely. Affectionately, Mom

Kathleen Grey

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 03:46 AM

Loving the commentary Liz - you must be feeling amazing!! I wish I cold see it all through your eyes....

Richard Webb

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 04:38 AM

Lis, you are a superstar. Just keep letting the amazingness of the experience override the pain and power on through tomorrow. It will all be worth it. By the way, I think those camels just want to steal some of your jelly beans. Maybe they could carry your pack in return?

Vivian Kan

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 04:51 AM

Love the details from your entry, Lis. My dad only wrote a very short entry so it's good to find out a little more about the Stage 1. I have heard that they are very strict about mobile phone usage but I didn't know they would send the Army to watch you guys. That's rather interesting. Good luck on Stage 2!

Lucy Brinkley

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 05:08 AM

Lis, I'm super proud of you for pushing through the first stage. You're amazing and CAN do this! Glad the camels and sheep are keeping you company. Sending much love and support your way. Keep kicking a**!

Clara Van Aert

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 05:50 AM

I think what you are doing is amazing! I am following your blog and will do so until the end. Sending you all my positive vibes - it must be tough with all the pain but I know you are going to pull through and do fabulously well! xx

Valerie H

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 06:01 AM

Hi Liz!!!!! Sooooo proud of you completing your first day!!!! You have been working towards this moment for a long time now, and so impressed that u r slugging through it. Remember to pace yourself, stay hydrated and know we are all cheering for you from HK!!!!! Can't wait till ur back and can get a foot massage aha hahahajahahaa... Keep at it, remember that u are stronger than you think!!!! U make us so proud!!!! Xoxoxoxx val

Anna Holmes

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 06:10 AM

Loving your work Lis! Keep it up!

Lihui G

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 06:54 AM

How's the "easy" day so far? I saw some of the photos and the landscape looks amazing. I bet it looks even better when seeing it in person! I hope you're able to enjoy the scenery as you go along. The little one and I might have had a rocky start, but we're working on it. So don't worry :) Take good care of yourself and have lots fun!! Loves, Lihui

Lisa Forsman

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 07:39 AM

I wish you all the best for the second leg. Lots of love. Lisa

Karl Forsman

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 11:37 AM

Sounds fantastic. Hope the second stage will be great. Weather doesn't appear to cooperate, but flatter terrain should make it easier. I hope so at least. Keep up the hard work....

Lisa Moore

Posted On: 03 Jun 2013 13:36 PM

The stories will be worth it all - so glad to hear it's nothing short of incredible so far. Keep it up!!

Alison Webb

Posted On: 04 Jun 2013 01:27 AM

Keep up the good work Lis. I am pretty sure Richard is missing you to. He said it was really weird being home without you. Take care. Alison

Karl Forsman

Posted On: 04 Jun 2013 01:53 AM

Rain in the desert!!! Who would have thought....You can never be prepared for everything. I hope you are ok. Sounds like you don't have to worry about the heat at least. We are eagerly awaiting news. We are constantly checking the website for signs of life. We are keeping our fingers crossed for an easy third leg for you.

Pearly Chen

Posted On: 04 Jun 2013 16:46 PM

My rocket Lis, no words can describe how much I wish to be with you right now dragging my weary legs together with you powering you through! The reality is that though I am sitting here comfortably at home with massive guilt being the culprit of getting you into this but total admiration and envy that you are going through all of this alone! I don't have a single doubt that you will come out great and much stronger than you imagined, keep it up and when you get back here let's plot Madagascar! :-) LOVE, Pearly
Welcome To The Gobi!

1st June 2013 02:18 AM[(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Well, it is all real now. The little voice inside my head is super excited and hungry and ready for the challenge ahead. In just over 12 hours we will kick off the first stage, in which I will be suffering up and down the hills of the Gobi with a 10.8 kilo sack and 2 liters of water. It is incredible how much food weighs... It is incredibly daunting to know I will dragging that around. At least with that though I will be able to eat the weight away. If I get desperate I will have to dump all my jelly beans. I very likely overcompensated for the Long March. Weight aside, the scenery at camp 1 is stunning. I can't believe that I'm here, surrounded by the rolling green hills. I hope I can make it through to see the rest. I am sure that it only gets better from here. Its going to hurt more than I can currently comprehrend, but I want it. Thanks to all who've already been sending me love. I really appreciate it. Do keep it coming. Lihui - I hope everything is ok at home and the little one isn't driving you mad. Richard - I miss you already. Can't wait for next year. The queue is building up now, so I must go. Wish me luck and I'll update you all at the end of Stage 1!

Comments: Total (4) comments

Eva Rona

Posted On: 02 Jun 2013 09:43 AM

Well you're finally here....the first start is the worst, but it will all become routine before you know it. You're probably finishing if not already finished stage 1, full results aren't up yet. I'm sure you've done well and I look forward to your Stage 1 entry. Although I sucked at actually doing this myself, treat each day independently because for some reason when you wake up, you're body just jumps right into it!!! Good Luck babe and I will keep an eye on you ;) xxxx EVA.

Karl Forsman

Posted On: 02 Jun 2013 13:39 PM

We are sooo excited for you. Everyone at the beach club is routing for you. Seems like everyone knows what you are doing. Hope the first leg was good. Sounds like rather high temps but a beautiful course. Hope you can get some rest and we are looking forward to hearing about the next stage.

Hsin-yu Wang

Posted On: 02 Jun 2013 13:51 PM

Ran into Diedre and Kiera in BR at SPBC. They were very impressed by what you are doing. I hope it won't be too physical for you and you get to enjoy the journey. We are eagerly watching your progress.

Sergio Mello

Posted On: 02 Jun 2013 17:57 PM

Go Liz!! empty your mind and enjoy every step.