Before I left for Germany, I kept checking the extended forecast for this area. At the time, the weather people were predicting sunny weather with temperatures in the mid-70s. “Ahhhh,” I thought. How nice that was going to be after our long, hot summer at home. And then, just a day or so before my flight, the temperature predictions jumped up to the low 80s.

And so, of course, after the cold, wet summer they’ve had here, this week has been quite warm. Yesterday, unbelievably, it was nearly 90 degrees.

Perhaps because of the heat, or the sheer difficulty of getting through the crowds, there didn’t seem to be as many hordes of national fans as we often see, running between obstacles to support their drivers. But there sure were an awful lot of people everywhere. It looked like every “local” horse fan from near and far had come out to enjoy the day.

In the end, Sweden’s Tomas Eriksson won the marathon phase, Australia’s Boyd Exell (the reigning gold medalist) came in second, and Germany’s Georg von Stein finished in third. I heard that Georg drove a cracking fast marathon and would’ve won except that he had a few penalties in one of the obstacles.

Overall, Boyd is now in the lead, eleven points ahead of Chester Weber. Georg von Stein is in third place so far.

Going into today’s cones competition, the Dutch are in the gold-medal position. Germany is in second place, Sweden is in third, and the USA is in fourth.

Here are some of my favorite photos from yesterday’s marathon, in the order that the competitors drove:

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Chester Weber’s lovely leaders

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Chester Weber in obstacle 6

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Boyd Exell in obstacle 6

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Georg von Stein on his way to obstacle 4; he got a huge cheer from the German crowd as he drove past and turned the corner

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Joe Yoder (USA) at obstacle 2

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Hungary’s Zoltan Lazar at obstacle 2

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Koos de Ronde (NED) in obstacle 2

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… and Koos (see the orange dots in the distance?) making his way to obstacle 3 through the crowds, which, unbelievably, were not kept off the track here

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Germany’s Christoph Sandmann entering obstacle 7

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Jimmy Fairclough (USA) entering obstacle 7

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some of the crowd at obstacle 8 … the man with the Hungarian flag must’ve spent the day walking from obstacle to obstacle to support his fellow countrymen

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Hungary’s Jozsef Dobrovitz in obstacle 8

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Ysbrand Chardon (NED) at the end of the marathon course

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I should’ve mentioned this earlier, but (in case you missed mention of it in my Twitter feed over to the right on this page): if you’d like instant updates, tidbits, results, etc. … you can follow me on the CAA’s Twitter page as well.