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Re: RC: Re: Safe starts at races...

At 08:51 PM 1/22/00 MST, B.E. Jackson wrote:

>Well, that is good news. I've been told that in LDs, if you linger back too 
>long, you're likely never to catch the front runners. Any comments?

Take a good look at the ride times sometime.  You'll find that there is
often a half-hour difference in the top 10 for a 25.  If you want to avoid
the hustle-bustle of the opening, you only have to drop back a couple of
minutes.  You may not catch the #1 rider that way, but if you're really
able to run a top 10 pace, 2 minutes isn't going to drop you out.  This
also depends on whether your horse will move out at the pace you set
without people in front of you to pull.    The race where I came in top 10
on Ozar we'd lost a shoe, and another rider gave us an easyboot - I'm sure
we lost lots more than 2 minutes dealing with that - AND we got lost at one
point and cost ourselves another 5 minutes.

Starting a little late can also help you ride your own race instead of
blowing it all out in the first 5 miles.  Another thing to watch out for is
that a lot of times (this depends on ride), the people out front get
disproportionately pulled.  There are some studies cited on this topic
reference in 'Go The Distance'.  I always try to remember that 11th through
last all get the same points, and you get zip for not finishing - plus the
possibility of vet bills.  There was one race I crewed and watched the vet
check where I saw half of the people who came into the first leg running
top 10 get pulled by the end of the 2nd leg (of 3).  Crewing near the vet
check is a real eye-opener, esp. at a big ride.

David LeBlanc

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