TheGuardian.com - Full Article
Ivo Marloh’s documentary about the Mongol Derby captures the beauty and bedlam of the 1,000-km cross-country race
by Peter Bradshaw
Fri 8 Jun 2018
To non-horse-riders the subject of this looks like the most extraordinary exercise in masochism and self-harm, and yet there is a kind of fascination in it. The film is about the Mongol Derby, a brutally punishing 1,000-kilometre endurance race across Mongolia, recreating Genghis Khan’s 13th-century horse-messenger trail.
Riders have to use the wild horses they’re given and ride all day for about 10 days, changing mounts every 40 kilometres. They are intensively tracked and monitored with GPS, with hyper-alert support teams of doctors and vets, although psychotherapists would probably also be a good idea. The contestants face tough terrain, the possibility of encountering wolves and probable/inevitable injury – or, as someone cheerfully puts it: “faceplanting”, which could lead to broken necks. It looks as terrifyingly dangerous as the TT races in the Isle of Man...
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