Wild horses carry Langley lawyer across finish line of the 2016 Mongol Derby
'The adrenaline rush somehow makes you extremely brave or stupid'
Heidi Telstad, a Langley lawyer, was recovering from a broken rib and punctured lung after her horse stepped on her.
Bored, Telstad wanted to do something "extreme".
The 43-year-old found the Mongol Derby — a grueling 1,000 kilometer endurance horse race across Mongolia using semi-wild horses.
"The adrenaline rush somehow makes you extremely brave or stupid," she laughed. "It definitely feels good!"
Telstad spoke to The Early Edition from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia about riding in the race.
"Just before I started the race, I was really nervous, and my confidence was really shot," she said. "But once I got on the horses, it was exciting. I think I was the happiest I had ever been. I think my jaw was hurting from smiling so much."
Riders in the endurance race — the longest horse race in the world — use multiple semi-wild horses to travel across Mongolia's steppes, mountain passesand desert landscapes.
"They're just semi-wild, you can barely handle them, catch them, put a saddle on them. A couple of horses — it would take three herders to hold it down just to put it down to put a saddle on."
Telstad said she was very lucky that she didn't get injured, adding that up to 17 riders dropped out of the race due to severe injuries.
However, Telstad did not just complete the race, but crossed the finish line in first place with two other co-winners: Will Comiskey, 28, 'Dingo', a cattle rancher from Australia, and Marcia Hefker-Miles, 45, from New Mexico.
"To be able to cross the finish line with these two amazing people, I couldn't have asked for anything more. I don't think the win would have been as sweet by myself."
Telstad also used the race as an opportunity to fundraise for the B.C. Epilepsy Society, and she said she has raised $2,800 so far.
"It was an amazing ride, that's for sure."
With files from The Early Edition
To listen to the audio, click on the link labelled Heidi Telstad, one of the winners of the 2016 Mongol Derby