Day 3 In Mongolia - time to get to the race start!

IMG 7199Day 3 In Mongolia, Transport to Race Start – Chinggis Khan Statue

Last night in the hotel, we had the race briefing and got to casually find out about the other competitors and their companions if they brought them.
We also got told we need to bring ONE bag only per person – ouch!
With all of the extra bits and pieces we needed to bring plus our roll up mattresses and sleeping bags, nutrition, bottles, warm gear, cold gear, toiletries was a big task.
This morning we decided to go through our bags, turf out the non essentials and leave them in the bike bags in the hotel garage for our return.

Our transport today was these very decorative Hyundi buses, with about 120 people to transport I think there was around 3, along with a Russian built troop carrier style vehicle x about 10 that would be used for the race.
Leaving Ulan Baatar we got to see the other side of town, the Ger district where there is new buildings being built right next to a bunch of gers that people live in. Next door is a petrol station and a few hundred meters up the road a water collection point. It was interesting to watch this from my window seat in the bus. Up until now, the road has been good and then suddenly we encountered road works, with a new road being built but either side (you choose which side too by the way!) are a myriad of double tracks for you to drive, no 4wd needed!

About 1.5hrs later we were looking at the Chinggis Khan statue, this is huge and totally not what you would expect to see in the middle of nowhere.

This was our base for 2 nights and 2 days. Food being provided up at the statue which was outfitted with a kitchen, bar and function room style table settings upstairs. You could even go up the stairs to a view platform which was the neck of the horse.

We had quite luxurious gers, ours had real beds with pillows mattresses and big queen size doonas on a concrete floor even. But it doesnt stop there, fully equipped with a portable satellite power source that we could charge phones and have a light going at night. Luxury. One last pleasure was a flushing toilet. The showers were cold water outdoor tent style ones but that was fine for race day!

As far as the eye could see were rolling green hills that looked decievingly easy...race day would prove otherwise. There also appeared to be pockets of holiday villages along the hillsides.

IMG 7209So yes, we were enjoying our time finally arriving at this place, but the question still remained...was I ready to race? I had not thought too much about the race aspect with many elite females in attendance I wondered if I had any form to find on day one, or would I ease my way into 7 days of fitness? Well the easiest way to deal with these nerves and expectations was to just do my best, there was no chance of me controlling the other girls and on paper they were excellent, so I just started the process of organising my gear and sorting out my race preparation.

The last night before race day I slept sooo well, felt good with myself going to bed and knew that I would win by the end of the seven days regardless if I just kept true to my checklist and did not think negatively if the race panned out tougher than I imagined...its been a while since I have set myself up for a sufferfest!