Strong & Crazy Mongol Derby

$810 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 15 months
The Mongol Derby is the longest and toughest horse race in the world. An annual event, that spans 1000km and recreates Chinggis Khaan's legendary empire-busting postal system, with riders changing horses every 40km, and living with herders or camping under the stars.
Each year around 40 professional, semi-pro and enthusiastic amateur riders compete against each other for the derby crown. To stand a chance of finishing riders must balance survival skills and horsemanship and to stand a chance of winning, an extra level of determination and no small amount of luck is required. Clare and Rachel are up for the challenge. Together, their team Strong and Crazy is poised to compete.

Clare Summers has been competing for 20 years and has accumulated over 10,000 competition miles in the process. She has completed some of the most prestigious rides in North America such as the Western States Trail (Tevis), the Old Dominion 100, and countless others. Clare is the only rider in AERC history to have successfully completed all three events at the Arabian Horse National Championship in 2015. Clare and her husband live in Pendleton, SC.  She has three children and two grandchildren.

Rachel Land started in the world of Endurance Racing January ’16. The sport has quickly become her passion. In her rookie year as an endurance racer she has ridden, completed and even placed Top 10. Although she is new to the sport of Endurance Racing, she is not new to horsemanship. Horseback at the age of two, training and showing grew from a hobby to a passion. She showed Saddlebreds and won the Junior Exhibitor 5 Gaited National Championship as well as a second place at the World’s Championship in Louisville. At one point Rachel performed at the Dixie Stampede, racing ostriches, performing on horseback and learning to trick ride. Rachel lives in Easley, SC is married and has four children under the age of nine.
These two women have teamed up and set their sights on their biggest challenge yet, the Mongol Derby. According to the Guinness Book of World Records it is the longest horse race in the world. They will race astride semi-feral Mongolian ponies, and every 25-30 miles they will have a vet check, and once the horses they rode pass they choose a new pony and continue on  to the next horse station. Racing is only allowed from 7am to 8:30pm. Serious time penalties are given if your horse does not pass the vet checks or if you choose to race during unauthorized times. There is no marked trail on the Mongolian steppe, so the team will have to navigate their way to the finish line using over 2,000 waypoints programmed into their GPS units they will be carrying for the journey. The team has the choice of sleeping at one of the Urtuus along the way or, if they want to make the best time possible, they can sleep out in the open on the steppe. If they are lucky they may even come across a local family that will agree to allow them to stay the night in their own home. Over the year during the month of August, the Mongolians have come to expect a knock on their door to find a rider in technical gear asking for shelter for the night. The Mongolian people are known for their hospitality, for out on the steppe it is a harsh environment. Wild wolves, marmot holes, 95 degree days, and 40 degree nights and snowstorms are the kind of challenges the team expects to encounter while racing. Each rider is only allowed to carry 11 pounds of gear, in addition to water, during the race which makes it all the more challenging.
Clare and Rachel are seeking sponsors to provide funds and the necessary gear to get them through the race. If you are open to discussing endorsement or even able to sponsor them or have any questions please connect at WWW.STRONGANDCRAZY.COM




These are the kind of horses being rounded up for us to race.
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Days are ticking by quickly! We leave in 19 days. Our kits are almost ready, health/travel insurance is bought, and we have trained our bodies to be lean, mean, pony riding machines.

Some of you may have seen the team featured in SC living magazine. You can check out the article on scliving.coop

Thank you to all who have given, we hope we make you proud!

We still have to raise $643 to donate to Cool Earth. Any help is much appreciated!
Clare on the cover of SC living
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We are 4 months away from hopping on an airplane to Mongolia. Training is continuing and we are having more requests for interviews and photo shoots. We hope the added publicity will help get the word out!

Slowly our kits are coming together. We now have our hydration packs and have started riding with them. Our derby saddles are getting some miles on them as well. With 4 months to go, we hope that riding in those 12 inch saddles with about 13 pounds strapped to our backs will feel completely normal. We still have quite a bit of gear to purchase and we could use your help. We also have quite a few vaccines to get. Unfortunately the preventative Rabies and Typhoid are not covered by our insurance and will cost $1300 for each of us. We are also looking into getting a supplemental health insurance plan in case things go terribly wrong and we need to be picked up by a helicopter and transferred to a nearby hospital. Another expense is travel insurance. We will be carrying thousands of dollars worth of gear, much of which is borrowed from very generous people, and we would like to have it protected in case its damaged. Both of those policies will be about $1000 for each of us. As you can see the costs are adding up quickly. Would you consider donating so we are able to get these vaccines and insurance policies?

A couple weeks ago Clare and her horse, Mardi Gras Tuesday, won the 50 mile race at Alabama Yellowhammer. Way to go!

We now need to raise $1370, $685 each, to donate to Cool Earth, the official charity of the Mongol Derby. Cool Earth is saving the rainforests by putting the responsibility and ownership back into the hands of the local people. As part of our entry this is required by the Adventurists and we love the idea of helping this amazing Earth. Please consider giving to our fund to help us offset our out of pocket expense. Thank you!

We have had the most fun training for this race. We know that it will be a very hard week out there, so we are getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Thank you so much for your support. Every little donation makes a difference for us.

Don't forget to go to strongandcrazy.com for more updates and check out our amazing sponsors!

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Thank you so much for your generosity! Less than 5 months we will be headed to Mongolia. Your donations have made it possible to book our flights, reserve our hotel rooms, and start accumulating all of the necessary gear to get us through the race. Thank you!
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$810 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 15 months
Created November 6, 2016
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11 months ago
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Dr Mark Thayer
13 months ago

Congratulations and good luck!

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