Gobi March 2009 – Stage 5 – Updates

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1320-19-June-Stage 5: Tan Tah Ming (Malaysia) was the final competitor to make it into camp. Tan spent the night out on the course, only resting briefly for an hour and a half on the side of the course. Tan suffered from asthma while he was walking in the night, and took a 3km ride on the back of a camel. Tan may be disqualified for this. Tan was greeted by the entire camp when he crossed the finish line at 12.42.51. Tan was smiles all around, and said, “what a night.”

1212-19-June-Stage 5: 108 competitors have made it back to camp. Nine remain out in the field. Shain Khoshbin (United States) and James Fitzsimmons (United States) were the most recent arrivals. Khoshbin, despite any discomfort he may have been feeling, gave a last push on through to the end, running in to the finish line to great applause and support from his peers. Valerie Autissier (France) and Cyril Goss (France) arrived with their hands held high. The French couple is celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary at the Gobi March 2009. Competitors are taking in the shade in the grove of desert willow trees where Camp 6: Kashgary, the final camp of the event, is situated. It is a relaxed and chilled out atmosphere at camp, and competitors who have finished are treating today as an opportunity to socialise and kick back.

2210-18-June-Stage 5: First lady Diana Hogan-Murphy has reached the finish line. 92 competitors have reached check-point 21 on Stage 5: The Long March. The most recent person to walk through was Rod Rutherford (Australia) who was greeted by his wife Jan. It was an emotional moment, and Jan was extremely positive and happy to see her husband. Rutherford was in great spirits although a little tired. Self-dubbed ?Team Delirium?, a trio who met on this event and are walking together on this stage, Caroline Kracht (Germany), Larissa Hippchen (Germany) and Ryan Watt (Australia), are sitting out, taking in some rest and repast and cloud spotting. So far, all manners of exotic animals and even obscure symbols have been sighted. Dr. William Abbott (United States) just arrived at the overnight camp, and has entered what the volunteers affectionately signposted as, ?The Rocky Ridge Hotel.? Abbott was extremely proud of his son?s performance today, and was smiles all around. Eduardo Rocha (Portugal) who only entered Camp 5 after 0100 this morning, has arrived at the overnight check-point in good spirits and looking strong. Shain Khoshbin (United States) is trooping on and, as always, smiling. Many competitors such as Xavier Cochi (France) and David Linker (Australia) after a short rest and some food, are soldiering on, aiming to get into camp as soon as possible. Simone Bishop (South Africa), Kimberley Dods (South Africa) and Hannah Sandling (United Kingdom) who have become well known for their beauty and athletic exploits have thrown fashion caution to the wind, constructing makeshift ponchos out of their survival blankets. Dods said, “the glamour girls have gone Starwars style.” And as the three walked off into the distance, a constant crinkling sound accompanied each determined step they took. The sun is setting on the horizon, temperatures are dropping and the wind has picked up speed.

1810-18-June-Stagae 5: Eric LaHaie (United States) and Riel Carol (France) just crossed the finish line of Stage 5 together at 17.50.29 with their arms held high. The pair had run for the past 40km in a duo. ?There was no way I could have kept that pace if I had been alone,? said Riel. LaHaie and Riel were running at a pace of just under a 9 minute mile, picking up the pace as they neared the finish line. For the first 50km, Riel admitted to having LaHaie in his target, but as the pair began to tire through the grueling stage, they admitted to relinquishing competitive ambition to see it more as a shared experience. Sean Abbott (United States) who had remained in the top three throughout the race came into camp at 17.59.17. Abbott was greeted by the top two who shared first place for the stage, placing him in second place today. LaHaie said, ?I was in bad shape for the first part of the stage, and my knees were giving out, but when Riel caught up with us I said to him, ?you set the pace, I?’m going with you.??

1340-18-June-Stage 5: Diana Hogan-Murphy (Ireland) and David Pearse (South Africa) just strode into check-point 18, their steps are practically in synchrony and the pair is keeping their pace brilliantly. Pearse and Hogan-Murphy are placing 23rd overall. Group Cohesion came in shortly after placing in 24th, intent and resolute on staying together as a team. ?You are only as strong as your weakest link,? said Giles Timms (United Kingdom). Group Cohesion is the leader in the team division. Neal Gemassmer (United States) is feeling, ?fantastic.? Chris Harris (United Kingdom) was after a cold beer.

RACINGTHEPLANET is a unique category of rough country footraces that take place over seven days and some 250 kilometers in remote and culturally rich locations around the world. Competitors must carry all their own equipment and food, are only provided with water and a place in a tent each day but are supported by professional medical and operations teams.
1301-18-June-Stage 5: LaHaie is still in the lead, arriving at check-point 18 looking tough and composed at 12.19.40. In second place is Riel Carol (France) who came in at 12.27.30. Just minutes later, third placing Weichao Wei (China) ran through at 12.30.10. Soon after, Shane O?Rourke (Ireland) and John Lewis (United Kingdom) came in looking incredibly strong. Lewis and O?Rourke had some banter, and were pushing each other on to keep their pace. In fifth place is Sean Abbott, who had a look of stern concentration on his face, keeping his head down and focusing on his footing on the loose gravel road. Winds are picking up their pace, and it is extremely gusty and cold, although the sun is out and temperatures are steadily rising. Andrew Swan just came into check-point 18 raising his walking poles in the air, with a huge grin on his face. Ron Hertshten (Israel) is, ?doing great? and taking it one check-point at a time, a good tactic for making it through to the end of the ?Long March.? Blair M. Turnbull (New Zealand) and Hertshten just left the check-point, patting each other on the back as they set off, showing the camaraderie they have forged through this event.

RACINGTHEPLANET is a unique category of rough country footraces that take place over seven days and some 250 kilometers in remote and culturally rich locations around the world. Competitors must carry all their own equipment and food, are only provided with water and a place in a tent each day but are supported by professional medical and operations teams.

RACINGTHEPLANET is a unique category of rough country footraces that take place over seven days and some 250 kilometers in remote and culturally rich locations around the world. Competitors must carry all their own equipment and food, are only provided with water and a place in a tent each day but are supported by professional medical and operations teams.

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