Sport

Meet the 70-year-old winner of the world's longest horse race

Published 0901 GMT (1701 HKT) August 30, 2019
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Bob Long, 70, became the oldest person to ever complete the Mongol Derby and the oldest to ever win it. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
The Mongol Derby is an annual event which sees riders race 1,000 kilometers across the Mongolian steppe. The route is inspired by the Mongol Empire's pioneering postal service which was used to send messages. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
Riders are monitored from afar by a team of experts and are able to stay with local families along the way. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
The horses they ride are from local herds and are not entirely domesticated. A team of vets ensure the animals are not pushed too much and are rested every 40 kilometers. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
Long took just seven-and-a-half days to complete the challenge but said the physical strain took its toll on his body. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
A team of four riders finished the mammoth task in joint third. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
Horses have always played a huge role in Long's life and he was inspired to take on the epic challenge after watching a film about the event. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
Spending so much time alone in the Mongolian countryside proved to be a spiritual adventure. "I believe in God and a higher power and it was really comforting for me to use that as a crutch to keep going," he said. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
Despite being fully prepared both physically and mentally, Long said he was surprised by the extreme weather patterns. He said conditions would switch from torrential rain to searing heat. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists
Long says he's still not bored of riding and would like to race again. "My personal definition of success is whether you do it again," he said. Sarah Farnsworth/ Adventurists