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[RC] Spook Run, Indiana - roxanne kopp

Spook Run 2005, Saturday's 50 miler.  What a wonderful weekend to have a ride in Indiana.  It was cold in the morning but warmed up to the mid 60's.  Not a cloud in the sky all day and the fall colors were beautiful.  This was the last ride for my horse ( Eddie) and I this year and the end to our second season doing endurance.  
The ride started at 8 am and the first loop was 25 miles.  It was a cold, crisp fall morning with frost on everything.  Controlled start to get everyone down a short section of pavement and on the trail - I started with the main group ( I used to wait and start later but have found my horse can handle leaving with a group), and quickly settled in with my neighbor Lisa Winburn and her horse TJ. First loop has a few long hills with the first being a steep descent down to a valley ( it was noticeably colder down there) and then gradual long climb out  - lots of flat old gravel roads, great footing.  Eddie felt strong and energetic, we did alot of cantering. First hold - as normal for Eddie he pulsed down right away, passed the check and went to eat.  2nd loop was 15 miles and had my favorite section of trail - single track all twisty through the trees - I just love riding that section.  It had been dry and there wasn't water in the normal spots on this trail, ride management had tubs out at various places which helped.  Eddie and Tj started drinking on this loop and we found enough muddy water holes to keep them happy.  The last ten miles of the second loop was the same used for the third and final loop.  Some hills and a real long stretch of old road ( I'm thinking 4 miles or so) where you can just let the horses go.  Eddie loves to canter and by the time he reached this section he and TJ had settled in to a nice relaxed pace - I had to keep relaxed so kept telling myself to do the yoga breathing - you know deep in deep out, good air in, bad air out.  It helped and I was able to stay centered and enjoy the ride.  Came in to the second check and again pulsed down and vetted through and started eating.  Third loop was more or the same.  Eddie and Tj both pulsed right down at the end and passed the check with flying colors. This was also the fourth time I had done a fifty here on these trails - two last year and one this spring at Chicken Chase - and every time we have improved our ride time , Saturday Eddie and I completed the trail in 5 1/2 hours.  What a great ride!  I knew at some point I would get to where 50 miles was more fun and I would feel better doing it ( and not want to quit at 40 miles) and it has finally happened the last two rides Eddie and I have done.  A huge thank you to Bob and Lois McAfee for putting on the ride and Bill Wilson for letting everyone camp at his farm and all the volunteers and vets.  Even with a large turnout on Saturday - I think Lois said they had over 100 riders start in the various distances ( 25, 50 ,100) and with just two vets, I personally never had to wait for a PR person and maybe just a few minutes for a vet.   So, Eddie and I now have 355 miles together, and our goal for next year is to start doing multidays.  Endurance Rocks! 
Roxanne and Steady Eddie