The 2024 Atlas Mountain Race (AMR) is well underway after a 24-hour weather delay. Apparently, the rain that delayed the event was the first the region had seen in five months, resulting in significant flooding and road damage. Water forced the organizers to reroute the event around the iconic Telouet Pass and a handful of previously dry river beds. The race is now past the 48-hour mark, and riders are dealing with temperatures soaring above 90°F (30°C). The scratch list is already starting to pile up, which, according to organizer Nelson Trees, is due to various factors, including the pace, saddle sores, crashes, knee troubles, broken bikes, and more. We’ve been receiving audio updates from Josh Ibbett, who’s part of the leading group, and he mentioned that the long nights have been challenging.
The front end of the race has been exciting to follow. Drikus Coetzee of Namibia holds the record for The Munga in South Africa, but this is his first ultra-endurance race of this style. He’d been battling it out with Mattia de Marchi, who has since scratched at CP2 due to knee pain. Drikus and Justinas Leveika of Lithuania are now leading the men’s race, followed by Ulrich Bartholmoes. On the women’s side, USA’s Cynthia Carson and France’s Nathalie Baillon are leading the race and pushing hard despite limited sleep. The race is already over halfway done, but anything can happen.
After several years without their companion podcast, the organizers brought it back for this year’s event, adding another dimension to their social media coverage during the race. The first three episodes, hosted by Allan Shaw, are up now, and you can listen to them below.
AMR 2024 EP1: Calm Before the Storm
AMR 2024 EP2: Expect the Unexpected
AMR 2024 EP3: The First 24 Hours
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