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]

[RC] Day 4 of Al-Andalus - Merri Melde

Monday March 30 2009


This marks the halfway point of Al-Andalus. Today's route went 53 km over mostly kind dirt roads along canals, past fields thick with wheat grass, between orange and olive groves, ending with a little hill climb up into the old city of Carmona. The ancient Roman town is still guarded by a 15th century tower and gateways.

For the 3rd time, Eduardo Sanchez and 14-year-old Hermes crossed the line first in Biomios (1 horse, 1 rider), averaging 17.3 km/h, keeping them in first place overall by 30 minutes. It's Eduardo's first time at Al Andalus; it's Hermes' 4th time in Al-Andalus, though it's his first time in Biomios - he gets tougher as he gets older!

Nathalie Michel cruised along at a canter most of the day, averaging 20 km/h to cross the finish line first, moving her up to 5th in Equipos standings (her 'team' is 1 rider and 2 horses; 'teams' are also 2 riders and 2 horses).

But, as one observant person said, "This is not the race. The race is day 6, 7, 8." Now little things begin to show up on horses... an elbow rub from sand that's become painful, a little heat in one leg, a slight lameness, sore back...

It takes skill and luck and strategy to get through all 8 days with one or two horses. Some riders are here to complete, some are here to win. Do you turn on the speed and risk more, or do you keep a same steady pace and wait for the front runners to fall?

And the going gets harder. The end of the ride finishes in the mountains, the hardest days for last. Will it be the strongest, or the fastest. or the smartest who win?

Photos and more on the Al-Andalus page