Gobi March Blogs 2023

David Grosse



Gobi March (2023) blog posts from David Grosse

24 June 2023 12:50 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

A gentle yomp into Karakorum and a spectacular monestry finish. 

Followed by the first proper food and drink i have managed to consume for many days.

I found it a tough week - but all the better to get to the finish.

Many contrats to all the competitors and many thanks for all the staff and volunteers.

The final final stage was a 7 hour bumpy bus ride back to UB. 

And now a feast ...





Comments: Total (1) comments

jim gollogly

Posted On: 28 Jun 2023 02:53 am

David....you've done it....a million congratulations, and wishes for a speedy recovery, whether in HK or back at home.... i do hope you can hobble about sufficiently to get from pub to pub, and the airport, and back to Blighty....jim

23 June 2023 07:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Having to do a marathon after the long day is a (not ideal) novelty..
But the weather gods were kinder…despite a rainstorm on section one.
Across a plain and up into an Alpine Valley, climb, descent and camp.
Still unable to eat much of my food , hence survived the day on grated Parmesan and beef jerky…which kinda worked. 
I am a much svelter version of myself than a week ago (10+ pounds lighter I think) - albeit a few days in HK on the way back may put paid to that. 
The food hallucinations are in full stream - I am think toasted cheese n ham sandwich with skinny fries, ice cold coke (followed by ice cold beer). Perhaps a side salad.
Apologies for my lack of descriptive skills this week - I have been knackered - hence not feeling poetic. 
Behavioural Science 3 - why do people put themselves through such madness and pain? I think it is something to do with agency - being in control of your own destiny. Modern life happens to you….on the trail in some remote corner of the world - it’s up to you (for better or worse!)
Well done William on the gardening..!
Love to All

Comments: Total (1) comments

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023 09:29 pm

You’re almost there.the finish line is calling and by you probably have crossed it. Well done, a huge achievement. Enjoy all the after events.

22 June 2023 09:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Apologies for not writing for the last 2 days. Little time in between some very difficult stages. 

Day 3 started with a scramble climb up a steep rocky slope - and for someone with a touch of vertigo that was not ideal. Took me half the stage to get my head back - by which time we hit the dunes. Hot and hellish. All sorts of trouble in there for the competitors - and when I puked at the top of a main dune I swore to myself never again (I mean it this time).
The Long March was, as tradition dictates - long (and hot) …and given the day before proved a challenge to manage the electrolytes, food and water…..and 20 hours on a course with nausea is not ideal. Yay to the gummi-bears donated to me at CP4 and the can of coke at CP 5 - they hit the spot. And on and on it went into the dark and with the silhouettes of gers, horses & mountains, a flurry of moths around the headlamp, and an amazing night sky. 
When arriving in camp, one hopes for a nothing but sleep - so a fly infestation in the tent followed by a lightening storm were less than ideal. Hence only a few hours snatched sleep. 
In a regular event we’d be nearly done now….but just for fun we have another marathon distance tomorrow > I pray for rain.
Graham - you are right - I should be thinking of Maslows hierarchy of needs . Half way through the long day there was a local well - with cold water in a bucket. The most wonderful episode of the whole trip. - priorities re-prioritised.
Feet are reasonably OK (compared with many) - the usual toe nails sacrificed and some nascent blisters - but good for another session 
Sharon - I look forward to hearing about the night in the tent?!?. - I assume that is for you, rather than William? 

Comments: Total (2) comments

Alison Streeter

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 07:56 pm

Great effort David and hurrah for the generosity of the human spirit. I am sure anything that helps you get through it is very willingly accepted and of course what goes around comes around. We know you will hang on in there and we are willing you on from the comfort of our sofa! Xx

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 07:10 pm

All sounds eventful and rather challenging, rather you than me but I am total awe. Well done though , long slog done and just a walk in the park now ! Got William gardening today. Stirling work especially as hay fever conditions unfavourable. One foot at a time tomorrow. Enjoy the scenery, you’re s as l most done……..until the next time !!!!! Xxxx

19 June 2023 10:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Long, hot slow day…so I am not going to have much energy to blog. It was spectacular out there - not that I was fully in the headspace to enjoy it.
I am left wondering how the family who live in a remote Ger in the countryside of Mongolia responded when they popped their head out of the door and saw a Japanese Aubergine dressed in traditional clogs yomping past. 
The marmots obviously decided that I wasn’t a threat - as the popped out of their holes and scampered in front of me. 
Ashes sounds exciting - keep me in the loop.
My behavioural science comment of the day is the importance of Dunbars number (150 from memory) - being the seeming ceiling of the number of (stable) social relationships - and almost exactly the same number as the runners and support staff on this event - back to the evolutionary resonance.
Love to all

Comments: Total (5) comments

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 09:04 pm

Huge effort, well done on getting through the long March. In honour William has pitched the tent in the garden for me to sleep in tonight.

Graham Streeter

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 08:17 pm

Those marmots are messing with your brain, forget Dunbar and concentrate on Maslow- look after number 1. I envy your stamina!

jim gollogly

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 09:07 am

Cricket test scores? Good God David, you're putting out more of them all together! All they're doing is chucking a ball at one another and trying to hit it with a bit of wood, but you're out there putting 1 foot in front of the other, musing on the fortunes of the Mongolians, and making sure you don't step on a Marmot! In the grand scheme of things, who is the man on the path less traveled! keep on truckin' bro, to the end of the road, and plenty of beer and hydration! cheers, jim

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 06:12 am

Australia won sadly by two wickets. Cummins and Lyon put on a good show. All very close. On to Lords. You’ll back in camp when you read this so put your feet up. Xx

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 04:13 pm

Glued to the tv here. ASI write wicket just gone…Green bowled Robinson. Aus 193 - 6 needing 89 to win. Thank goodness I have soooo much ironing! Seemed tough out there on stage 3. Dunes ? More training at Camber! Good luck for long March tomorrow, I shall be live tracking. Xx

18 June 2023 10:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

The conditions were favourable with cloud for much of the day, and OK conditions underfoot, apart from a nice 1000 ft climb on stage 3 and grey mud moguls on stage 4. Happy with my 6 1/2 hours. Body also seemed to hold up  fine. 

The Cafe at camp is a real winner, although I note that they don’t seem to be serving fermented mares milk - which is the Mongolian speciality.  Probably for the best. 
Behavioural Science View 1) - I think a reason why the events are strangely addictive is because they are the closest most of us ever get to our evolutionary past - covering distances on foot each day with our small tribe. OK maybe we are not acting as persistence hunters - wrestling a large protein beast to the ground. However, always being on the move , camp to camp, focussing on your food, water and body …. Is what most of the last million years would have involved.
Shazz and Will - hope all well in UK, and let me know how the Ashes are going.
Love to all


Comments: Total (4) comments

Kevan Jones

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 08:03 am

David, Looking good and in you sound in good spirits. Love the comments on why we do these endurance events - I agree with you totally and also believe they help you find a new and better version of yourself. Onwards, stay strong. Kevan

Sarah Furby

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 07:09 pm

Congratulations on first stages so far. What a grand way to celebrate Father's Day! Dad & Eve send love, and we thought of your endeavours over tea and cake yesterday. Enjoy all fermentations X

William Grosse

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 11:34 am

Had about an hour and a half of play on Day 4. England 393-8 dec (Root 118, Lyon 4-149) & 133-4 at the moment (Root 46, Cummins 2-33). Australia 386 all out (Khawaja 141, Robinson 3-55). Stokes and Brook in now, Root's just been stumped as I started typing this. Perhaps more importantly, TW Superkings 201-6 off the full 35 overs, Shipbourne 70-0 after about 11 before the match was rained off. We were short on numbers, so even after recruiting Johnny Allen and Tom Glaister for the Rams we had to play 10-a-side. I bowled like an absolute drain - blaming the drizzle for not being able to grip the ball properly. For some reason we couldn't see that you had finished stage 1 for ages, thought you might have abandoned the race and taken to living a nomadic lifestyle out of the Steppe. Keep on going - you'll heave earned your fermented milk and boiled mutton at the end. Also wondering if you have read Humankind by Rutger Bregman - bought it the other day and think you'd enjoy. W x

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 06:34 am

Great to see your posted, well done. Rain shortened yesterday’s play at Edgbaston, I’ll W to send details. I see there’s an aubergine out there, perhaps you could have been a turnip in wooden shoes! Hope today hadn’t been too hot . Xx

15 June 2023 03:00 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Have arrived in UB

A 20 hour stop en-route in HK, was climbing into a comfy pair of humid slippers .
The ever efficient Chep Lap Kok, with my ID card still acknowledged, taxi drivers peering through a gap in their mobile phones to glimpse the road, a walk though Sheung Wan - dried seafood smells & glowering skies. A fabulous meal with terrific company and hospitality (thanks Rajah).

And on to Mongolia – which was hassle free and all the luggage arrived. The traffic in UB lived up to it’s reputation – over 2 hours for 50km.

Apparently, due to a preference for Japanese imports, half of the cars on the road are Right-Hand-Drive , despite driving on the right. Not ideal for overtaking. In other Mongolian transport related news, when you wish to mount a local horse or camel you need to approach from the left (as they are trained to accept riders that way, and otherwise may kick out). Whether it is your left or the horse’s left is not said – which seems like an important detail.

The competitors, support and RTP gang are gradually arriving and great to meet friends old and new.

Looking forward to something that approximates a full night’s sleep

Comments: Total (2) comments

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 17 Jun 2023 12:56 pm

Hope arrival at camp has gone smoothly. After lunch coffee and cricket. Aus are 79 for 3. Yesterday afternoon, home alone and had to deal with a blue tit in the kitchen! Good luck for the start. X

Samantha Fanshawe

Posted On: 16 Jun 2023 07:19 pm

Glad you arrived safely. If cars are right hand drive on the right side of the road and camels are left side mount on the left side of the road are there more car or camel accidents in Mongolia? Something to ponder on Stage 1, or the ride to Camp 1.

13 June 2023 11:20 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Off to the airport in a few hours , and on to Mongolia via Hong Kong.

Slightly disconcerted by hearing of others training regimes. 

My final week has involved a day at the cricket and a weekend playing golf.

At least i am well hydrated - something that a night in Hong Kong en route is likely to maintain.

Look forward to seeing everyone in UB at the end of the week, and thereafter on the Steppes.





Comments: Total (1) comments

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 13 Jun 2023 02:25 pm

And I would be slightly disconcerted if you had been crazily training for the last week :). Just don't get injured in Hong Kong. Safe travels!

04 June 2023 07:25 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

For the Gobi March I will once again be raising funds for the Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) in Cambodia, an excellent cause – and any donations received gratefully through this Global Giving site: 


The CSC aims to improve the quality of life for disabled Cambodian children and adults by providing rehabilitation surgery. Integral to this mission is a program of training local surgeons and health workers, focusing on the development of sustainable health services:


Thanks for your support

Comments: Total (1) comments

Mary Gadams

Posted On: 13 Jun 2023 09:00 am

Really great cause, David. Thanks for making the effort. I know it's not easy to race and raise money for a charity.

30 May 2023 05:30 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

How can it be only 2 weeks until i depart for Mongolia via Hong Kong?

More to the point, having just uploaded that blog profile picture, where did the last 10 years go?

I will try and keep up some blogging momentum once i am en-route and on course...

Comments: Total (4) comments

Mary Gadams

Posted On: 05 Jun 2023 09:20 am

Where did 20 years go! Looking forward to seeing you again, David.

David Grosse

Posted On: 04 Jun 2023 06:27 pm

Rafiq & Paul Look forward to seeing you there and in Tent 19. Hopefully it will have the vibe of the 19th hole on a golf course. Cheers DG

Rafiq Karovaliya

Posted On: 03 Jun 2023 10:54 pm

My sentiment too Paul, we are in good company, I look forward to joining the tent #19 Orkhon Valley.

Paul Lockwood

Posted On: 03 Jun 2023 01:01 pm

Great to know we have an experienced professional joining tent 19.. Look forward to meeting you in Mongolia!