Photos Jon Woodroof, words Lian van Leeuwen

It’s common to hear more about successes then about failure. We focus on who’s winning rather than the ones who pull out. Yet, starting Day 5 of this immensely tough race, more and more riders are moving into that second category. They encounter numerous ‘scratchable moments’, as recently scratched rider Jackie Baker so strikingly described them. Those defining moments in which you decide to push through or give up.

But the truth is: there is no failure in a race like this. Whether you overcome those times of despair or surrender to them, they will be the ones that count in the end. They also happen to give us the rawest and most truthful insights in what all the warriors on the Kyrgyzstan parcours are going through. Yes, happiness, but also hopelessness at times.

So here’s an ode to #scratchablemoments:

‘Sun was strong and there was no wind. I walked a lot. If I was on my bike, I felt tipsy. If I walked, I knew I could maintain forward progress. I knew my battery pack wasn’t charging as I was moving too slow. I was focused on drinking water an electrolytes but I wasn’t hungry and I hadn’t eaten since I made granola at 3.30 am. Getting to and into the river helped, but also kept slowing me down. Finally, when I got to the town and there were no shops open I knew I was done. But I still didn’t push the button.’ – Jackie Baker

The area the top 10 is crossing now is amongst the most remote, which limits the information coming through. But Day 4 did see the first four riders reaching CP2, and many mid-pack riders coming through CP1. Jay Petervary is still in the lead, followed by Kim RaeymaekersLe Magnan Pierre-arnaud and Bagoly LeventeLee Craigie seems to have stopped for a while, a little off the route. Earlier today she sent out an OK message but she might have fell ill and is resting up.

© 2018 Silk Road Mountain Race