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[RC] Creating New 100 Mile Riders - rdcarrie

 With all of the discussion about how 100s are dying out, and how new riders don't seem to be moving up to 100s at a rate high enough to replace those who are dropping out, retiring, whatever, we just seem to be going in circles.  I know that it's a bit of a "chicken or the egg" question situation...we need more 100s spread around the country to make it easier for people to get to one, but we need more people willing to ride them to make it worthwhile for RMs to put them on.
We talk in generalities about how 50 milers need to just take the plunge and move up.  However, not all 50 milers aspire to move up to 100s...and THAT'S OK...just like not all LDers aspire to move up to 50s...and THAT'S OK TOO.  However...I bet most of us know at least one 50 miler who has expressed interest in trying a 100, or whom we think might be interested.  Sometimes all a person needs is someone to say, "I know you and your horse can do it!"
Here's a suggestion...instead of waiting for AERC to come up with some magic formula or incentive to encourage 50 milers to move up (and I think there is potential for this, I just don't think we need to sit around and wait for it), I challenge everyone to pick a rider and help them move up to doing a 100.  Encourage them, help them with conditioning plans, even commit to riding the 100 with them. 
With my vast experience in 100s (one!! <G>) I'm doing that...got a friend who has a darned nice horse, she's done her first 50, we're planning out her ride schedule to bring her mare along, and looking ahead to her first 100...and we're going to ride it together.  I have another friend who was also going to work toward her first 100, but employment changes have forced her to scale back for the time being...but the desire is there once work stabilizes.
If each of us brings a new 100 mile rider into the fold, just think of the impact.  Sure, not all of these riders will decide that 100s are their cup of tea.  But some of them are going to be hooked, just like I was.  So come on...go recruit someone and start helping them do that first 100!
Dawn in East Texas

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