Day 2 of Race the Wild Coast
I hadn’t received my daily call/text from Sarah but from following the tracker and the RocketHorse Racing Facebook page, she has successfully completed Day 2. It was a little worrisome for a while as her tracker had stopped but the one on her horse was still going. Coupled with the fact that I didn’t get my daily call/text, I was concerned that something had happened but all was well. The tracker had just stopped working but the issues have been fixed. Rain was in the forecast today so riders were already wet heading into a day of swimming. The temperature today is around 20 degrees Celsius.
Today’s big challenge was swimming across the Umgazana River. Due to long periods of riding in wet clothes, Sarah said she was having a rough go from chafing, plus she had sand in her pants for the whole 75km. Hills were also a challenge this day as they seemed to just go on and on forever. You would think that you were at the top but over a crest and there was still more. Her horse, Ramkat, took them like a champ. Even though she could tell it tired him, he still had a ton of gas in the tank.
They are down to 11 riders as competitor Damyan has retired due to knee issues.
Sarah currently tied for first with Monde and Sam Jones (winner of the 2014 Mongol Derby, the year Sarah competed). The way the timing works with this race is that the time you come in is the time you leave. Since Sarah finished at 3:51pm today, she will head out at 3:51am tomorrow.
Day 3 of Race the Wild Coast
Day 3 consisted of a beach ride along the coast to Agate Terrace where there will be the last horse change of the race. Sarah will switch from her superstar Ramkat to the young gun Asad (who she has been calling Asshat due to his antics). The next leg of the race will include a swim across the Mngazana to the Kraal where they will be another vet check, then it is on to Hluleka, where the overnight camp will be.
Since the frontrunners got to start Day 3 so early, they made it to the reserve where the horses were kept before race staff, only to find the entrance padlocked. After some calls and rushing around, they were able to start on time. Asad gave Sarah some troubles throughout the day with spooking, bucking, and running full tilt with his head in the air. He refused to leave one vet check due to a pig in his sights. Not one to quit, Sarah convinced him that it was not a horse-eating pig and they took off. Despite Asad’s asshattery, he proved to be a very good swimmer.
Day 4 should be the last day of racing for the frontrunners (some of the slower riders may take an extra day to cross the finish line). Sarah is currently sitting in third and will go out at 5:09AM South African time. Some of the slower riders will have a 3 hour hold to avoid the high tide at the Mbashe River.
Only 90km left to the finish at Kei Mouth! Go Sarah Go!!