|His neck is sooo skinny compared to his head! Partially due to the cribbing surgery. But despite it, *squeal* I love this photo and the memories it evokes!|
Stan and I at our very first (hopefully not our only?) limited distance race - a 30 miler. The two people that were very experienced endurance racers that were nice to me complimented me on Stan's condition time and time again over the 24 hour-ish period. They both were beyond impressed with the time and work I'd put into training and a little astonished that I was only doing the 30 mile. ...which makes me curious, if I'd done the 50 would I have been DQ'd? I'd have had the opportunity to get another shoe put on...or get a boot before a trot-out. Or would I have trotted out before getting that done and still been DQ'd?
I was so, so, so thankful for the praise of those two people. Especially the gentleman that helped me out with a ton of things at base-camp. His wife was nationally known for endurance - oh how I wish I could remember his name! - and therefore he knew his stuff. He told me at the pre-race vet check how amazing Stan looked and moved, and how he could tell just from looking at him that I'd put a respectable and responsible amount of training into him to prepare him for this race. And boy, had I! March - August 11, 2007, 1 to 3 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week! Snow, rain, fog, heat, night, day.
The kind lady lended her support on the trail. She was near me at the start. As we spaced out and headed up the trail - after I'd lost my riding partner due to her horse throwing a bucking fit - the stranger-lady ended up very near me. I forget how the conversation started, but it led in this direction:
Me: This is my first time, I'm not sure how to pace the race properly.
Kind lady: What kind of training have you done to prepare?
Me: Well, I was training on the originally planned-for course that got nixed due to endangered species stuff - so stuff just like this, rocky and steep and rolling, 5 or 6 days a week for the past 6 months.
Kind lady: Then go for it! It sounds like you're really ready and can handle it, just listen to your horse!
Me: Thanks! *giving Stan some more rein to let him strike off after the other front-runners*
I didn't see her again on the trail.
Oh, and for comparison, here's Stan now.
MAJOR difference! Chunker. Granted, he was 5 then (I think) and now he's 9. So he's completely matured and filled out now, not to mention he's not getting the poo ridden out of him! Oh, Stanley, you were so slim and chic five years ago! Ah well, change can be good.