Sara Hampton (San Olympus) took an early lead straight out of the gate, but 40 minutes into the race, she took a terrible spill. She lost the lead, but after calling in her drone for supplies and taping up her left ankle, she pressed on.
Unlike the Men’s race, where the pack broke apart very early, the Women stayed together far longer. It wasn’t until after the 3rd checkpoint when the terrain forced the group to split.
From 5th position this morning, more than 3 km behind HDX’s Marshall Shannon, Pachehra was able to make his move over the ascension leg of the course. His strength in climbing helped him closed the gap, passing Jarmal Carter (Columbia Hills), Marshall Shannon (HDX), and Owen Dubad (Marineris). When he emerged from the valley, he was 6 minutes behind the leader, Raihaan El-Morad (Al’amal).
The sun has only begun to rise, but in the valleys of Noctis Labryinthus, it is dark. It is still hours away from the race resuming for Day 2 competition, but most of the runners are already awake.
For most of these athletes, last night was the first time they had experienced sleeping in the great and dangerous outdoors. After an intensive first day of navigating through and over the punishing terrain , we wanted to get a snapshot of what was going through some of their minds.
53 men representing the top contenders from the 278 original hopefuls that sought the opportunity to pit themselves against Mars. Having undergone 4 intensive rounds of screening and performance evaluations, today was when all the preparation suddenly became real. It was time to run!