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BY MEGAN MAY Morning News
Jul 23, 2017
HARTSVILLE, S.C. – One thousand kilometers in seven days. That’s what Coker College professor Julia Fisher will shoot for while competing in the Mongol Derby endurance horse race.
Starting Aug. 9, Fisher will have 10 days to finish the race, but to be ahead of 35 competitors, she will need to complete the derby in just a week.
The race, which recreates Genghis Khan’s ancient horse messenger postal route, takes place in a remote region near the Mongolia capital, Ulaanbaatar. The course takes riders through steppe, desert and mountainous terrain.
Riders have from sunup to sundown each day to race the course. They will reach a checkpoint every 25 miles where they will get a new horse and restock supplies such as food and water. If riders can reach a checkpoint by nightfall, they can sleep there. If not, they will be camping out under the stars. The race is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest horse race.
Fisher began riding in 2008. A fellow Coker College professor recommended she take riding lessons to relieve stress and fill time after her two children, now adults, moved away.
“I can pretty much say from there the rest is history,” Fisher said. “If I’m going to do something, I’ll jump in with both feet. My life became the barn and the horses and school. That was it...”
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