This August, Erik Cooper will embark on a grueling 10-day horse ride across the Mongolian steppe known as the Mongol Derby, the toughest and longest horse race in the world.
We are very grateful that by riding in the Derby, Erik will also be raising money for Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) and Mercy Corps!
The 650-mile Derby recreates Genghis Khan’s 13th century postal system, in which messengers carried mail from one horse station to the next station 25 miles away. Like Khan’s messengers, Erik and his fellow riders will be able to stop at horse stations along their journey to eat, sleep, and switch horses.
Many would question why anyone would put themselves through this physically demanding 10-day ride – much of which takes place hundreds of miles from hospitals and other modern conveniences in an extreme climate. But for Erik, it’s all about getting out of his comfort zone. As he explained on his Facebook page,
“I feel that once you become comfortable in life, you stop growing as an individual — e.g., learning new skills, having the ability to adapt to a new environment, you lose the excitement for adventure and life in general. I want to put myself in an uncomfortable position and in turn, challenge the skills that I have already acquired. Maybe more importantly for me, I will have to face one of the biggest challenges yet, being a world away from home, with a prominent language barrier, and instead of relying on my car to get me from place to place, I will be relying solely on the horses of the Steppes to carry me 650 miles to my destination….the finish line!”
Thank you, Erik, for including CSF in your adventure. We wish you the best of luck!