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Desk jockey does the Derby

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As you may have heard, I've been accepted to ride 25+ nutty Mongol horses 1,000 kilometres across Mongolia in August 2015. This little trip is called the Mongol Derby and is dubbed "the longest and toughest horse race in the world."

Recreating Chinggis Khaan's version of the pony express, us riders change horses every 40 kms and camp out with nomadic herders along the way.

It's a balance of wilderness skills and horsemanship. Like Survivor meets the rodeo...

Obviously, a race like this requires massive logistics. There's a crack veterinary and medical team to assist horses and riders. Race officials scout the course and find herders willing to share their horses.

Us riders must pony up a large entry fee ~ 7995 pounds sterling.

You're probably choking at that number. I did.

But then I had this little self talk.

"Self, when you're in an old folks home are you gonna say 'man, I'm really glad I put a down payment on a condo and squirreled my money into RRSPs instead of galloping across the Mongolian steppe on semi feral creatures."

I thought about that one for a hot few minutes.

Then, because I try to live my life by fridge magnet sayings like "you regret the things you didn't do in life more than the things you did do," I immediately signed up for the Derby.

Now, I'm asking my lovely friends and family to consider helping me achieve this dream. A portion of the money will be going to Cool Earth, the designated charity the Mongol Derby supports. This organization works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.

What does this have to do with Mongolia? Apparently a lot. Destruction of the rainforest speeds climate change, which in turn is leading to desertification across the Mongolian steppe, forever changing the herder's traditional way of life as their grazing lands are decimated.

I'm working a full time job, riding as many times a week as I can, picking up a gazillion freelance assignments and even snatching a few hours of sleep here and there. It's still a daunting amount of moolah.

Sooooo...if you've ever thought, gee, that Liz, she's a swell girl, I'd love to buy her a beer...consider plunking ten bucks down here.

If you are a secret enemy, know that by funding me here, you're sending me away on a very dangerous adventure...

Either way, I hope you'll consider helping me with my crazy dream. Because without striving for our dreams, what's the point of being on this big old planet?


Liz Brown
Toronto, ON

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