Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

Re: [RC] First 100's - Heidi Smith

The "first 100" stories have been great.  My own first 100 was also my first-ever endurance ride.  It was at Virginia City back in 1973.  (Dang, I just realized that that was 30 years ago....)  My then-young stallion Surrabu and I hauled down there with my parents as a pit crew, and started off with more faith than knowledge at 4 a.m. in front of the Bucket of Blood Saloon.  Everybody took off hell bent for election, and not knowing any better, I took off right with them.  The first vet check was just after sunrise, at 29 miles.  Then we looped back through some of the country we'd crossed in the dark--and I was mortified to realize that I had literally galloped through watermelon-sized boulders in the dark!  I pretty much rode on my own to the 61-mile point at Horseman's Park in Reno.  At that point, a crusty experienced rider took me under his wing and we rode together through the heat of the afternoon (much more slowly) to the 84-mile point at Washoe Lake.  I don't know if I'd've made it (or at least not as well as I did) without that guy.  I left Washoe Lake just at dusk to do the last 16 miles in the dark.  My horse got a real second wind, but I didn't really take advantage of it--I knew I could finish in plenty of time to get my buckle, and it never occurred to me to let him speed up and go on ahead with horses that passed us, even though he wanted to.  I had the most mystical walk in the moonlight down Ophir Grade to the finish on my best buddy, and still ended up in 28th place out of 92 starters.  I distinctly recall seeing people with Ace bandages wrapped around their knees at the beginning of the ride and thinking to myself what an odd thing that was--didn't these people RIDE??  And at the end of the ride, when the insides of my knees were bloody and looked like ground hamburger from the seams of my jeans (and STUCK to the jeans because of the dried blood--yeeouch!), I remember thinking, "My, what SMART people to have wrapped their knees in Ace bandages!"  (We've come a long way in 30 years!)  Somewhere my mom still has a picture of me, sound asleep at about mid-morning on Sunday morning on a sleeping bag spread out on some straw bales on the loading dock of the old railroad station at Virginia City, where base camp was.  (We got there a couple of days early and got a good spot, right up against the loading dock.)
I didn't get to another endurance ride until 1975, but I definitely had the bug, and I still dearly love 100-milers--if I can only get back in shape to do them again!

Re: [RC] First 100's, Drin Becker