Sari called me on Skype last night from China and I got the latest update.
The race started yesterday with the Opening Ceremonies. I don’t think the event included 2,008 Fou drummers and thousands of fireworks like some other recent ceremonies up the road in Beijing, but Sari did say it felt like all of Wulong came out to cheer on the teams. She said the locals have been very friendly and curious.
After an official welcome by the Wulong County governor, the race started with a very short, fast prologue stage. The stage including mountain biking, trail running, paddling and then more mountain biking. Sari said the team went all out, and at times they were both pushing and pulling her to maintain the frenetic pace. The strategy paid off and Team Nike won the stage by just four seconds over Lafuma. Team Nike collected $1,500 US for the win.
Prologue Stage Results
- Team Nike
- Lafuma Sport 2000
- AdventureSport NZ
Sari said that everyone on the team is feeling healthy and strong. They are all looking forward to tomorrow’s stage, which will be 6-8 hours and include more biking, running and paddling.
On another note, some of you may have seen on the news this morning that there was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in southwestern China yesterday at 4:30pm. The epicenter was in Panzhihua and there are 3-5 reported casualties. While this is tragic, from what I can tell Panzhihua is at least 500 miles west of Wulong. I’m confident everything is ok with the team and the race….I think we would have heard otherwise. Zoom out on the map below to see earthquake location and race site.
Keep posting positive comments and sending positive thoughts to China!