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Liberty Run Story - from a humble 100 miler :-))- maybe kinda long?

Gini Wilson
Someone asked for stories...I don't normally write them or at least for the
general public....but this one, I have to first one-day 100 miler..

I had every intention of doing the 50 mile ride at
Liberty Run II on my solid old grey mare, CD Gaily (she's "been around")......I had NO intention
of attempting the 100 and if anything, was considering taking Jazzy (our young "up-and-comming"
Belesemo mare)on her 6th 25 miler.

I took Jazzy out on Friday just for a training ride.  We took the 15 mile loop,
the hardest.  It was great.  The weather was perfect and she was a dream to
ride.  During this time, yours truely had an idea....if I could ever do a one-day
100 mile ride....this is horse (Gaily) is ready, the weather is perfect...what
excuse do I have?

I came back into camp with Jazzy and announced to the
party that surrounded our trailer...."I decided to do the 100 mile ride"....I think everyone thought I was
kidding (or crazy) I got no response of value (actually alot of blank stares).

When James & I went to check in...I asked him if he had enough for me to upgrade ($)....he looked at me
puzzled...."your really going to do this?"  YEP! Ride Manger, Vicki was thrilled...little did she know what her
ultimate fate was!  (for those that don't know...James is my Fiance')

We started out at 8:00 a.m....way too late in my book but I got to sleep in, so
what the heck!   James and I had an agreement....He stays behind the first loop
and then pulls me the rest of the way...."Deal?"
"DEAL!"....yeah right....tell
Martika that!  We managed to get through the first 30
miles with no major fights and we were still half-way friendly to each
other.....only 70 more to go.....

On the last half of the 50 miles we  picked up Dean Jackson (A friend from SC
that we rode with for the entire Biltmore ride and is a joy to ride with)  and
Woody another friend from GA that had already finished the 25 mile ride in
top-ten and was bringing a horse in for a fellow rider that quit out on the last
loop....funny to see him riding an Appy with a black
hard-hat (hunt cap) and riding in a western saddle...he may never hear the end of it from us!.....This
last loop was the best....the rest goes down hill.....

We started on our 2nd 50 miles at apx 5:00 with every bit
of hope of finishing near 2:00 a.m.  On the 1st 15 mile loop the trail had
deteriorated due to the
amount of horse traffic and we found ourselves walking through alot of sugar sand
which early had been packed well.  The 2nd 15 mile loop, we picked up a girl from Brazil, Marie,  riding a borrowed horse
( Nice horse! rumored to be a Valarie Kanavy horse)   and speaking little English...oh boy!

There were no glow sticks and we rode in the dark most of the trail and therefore,
went slow.....we didn't leave out for the last 20  until mid-night...Vicki (ride
manager) offered to follow us in her truck to light the way...although there
were glow sticks, this gave us an opportunity to pick up some speed and get the
vets (and us) into bed before sunrise.  Vicki kept applogizing for ruining our
night-time riding...."NOT!!"....At one point, James confessed to be
sleeping on Martika and woke up as we entered the last water stop!  Too Funny!
Marie and I entertained ourselves by trying to understand each others language.
(ie:  Marie:" what are those animals?"   Gini: "Frogs")  What-ever it takes to
amuse oneselves at 2:00 in the morning after riding an entire day.

We finished at 4:44 with a 3-way tie.  We all hooted and
hollared...but )  no-one
listened ...everyone was sleeping.  The chairs at the
finish line stood
unoccupied.  How sad!

Thanks to Dawn Osbourne for trotting Gaily out the last
time....I could have..but I really wanted to see how she was.  Dawn said
she would be there for us in the finish and she was!  After finishing the top-ten
in the 25 mile ride, she was always at the finish line and offering help at the
vet checks through out the ride.  She rode with Vicki on the last loop.  She was a
great inspiration for us and  did a great job with Gaily's trot out.  Gaily was VERY tired and so was
I....but we passed and received our completion...I actually thinthe vets would
have pulled her earlier in the nighbut didn't have the heart to do it at this
hour.  She was very sore and in my humble opinion was not fit to continue and I
would not have gone on with her if we had more miles to go.

As it ends...we poltuiced the legs and got to bed with
only one beer to celebrate
(gee, thats is really out of character!)  We awoke about
9:00 a.m. (barely) to
say good-bye to a few friends and let them know that we
survived (barely)...we
could hardly move.  We went back to sleep until noon.....

Horses are fine....we are fine..

Will I do it again?.... was  very hard...VERY
VERY hard.....But I'm
sure in my future there is another 100 mile ride maybe
not with Gaily.....but

As I join the rank of true "Endurance Rider" status...I
am honored and humbled by
this experience.

I want to Thank Vicki for being a "true" ride manager and helping us along "no matter what it took"
and all the people that offered help during the day...(I told them to check on us about mid-night but no takers..go figure?)
Wes Crowe said to wake him up if we needed anything, Cindy Bell was there and trotting Gaily for me at the 65 mile mark.
And many more...thank-you thank you..!  And THANK YOU to all who DID NOT wake us up in the morning!

Some things you may never know about on a "normal" endurance ride:

1.  There are frogs at night
2.  Coyotes howl
3.  It's REALLY dark
4.  You CAN sleep on your horse
5.  Not everyone who SAYS they will wait up for you, actually will
6.  We are NUTS
7.  Cherish the ones who DO stay up all night for you as they are as nuts as you

Thats my story....

Gini Wilson
True Endurance Rider

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