We’ve all heard of the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska. We’ve also heard of the Ironman Triathlon (the original in Hawaii) as well.
Those races are difficult tests of the participants and are certainly difficult in their own right.
That said, those people could almost be considered also-rans when we consider a horse race held in Asia. It is not some weenie 1,000m race; it’s a 1,000km race that traces Genghis Khan’s postal route (original pony express?). For you metric-challenged people, 1,000km = 1,000,000m = ~620mi (= ~0.00000000003240783 parsec; ~0.0000000001057023 light-year; ~39,379,960 inch; ~4,971 furlong; ~540 nautical mile, you get the drift).
I know what you’re thinking…
620 miles? That’s not even as far as El Paso. What a bunch of pansies.
Not so fast. Participants have to go through a significant application process, including proof of financial ability to handle mishaps along the way.
They are required to have comprehensive sports medical insurance, and for good reason. This year, there were two medical evacuations, one for a broken clavicle and the other for a broken hand. One rider was kicked in the face by a horse.
That does not include the entry fee. The riders have to pony up (haha) over $13,000 to torture themselves for 10 days. At least they know their ordeal won’t last longer.
All riders are expected to finish the race in 10 days or to quit the race altogether.