Old Dominion 100 - we did it!!

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Old Dominion 100 - we did it!!

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  • Tevis vs old dominion 100

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    06-17-2014, 03:59 PM
Old Dominion 100 - we did it!!

This past weekend, my DH and I packed up Sultan and George and headed for the mountains of Virginia for the 40th anniversary Old Dominion endurance ride.

This ride is called "The Beast of the East" for good reason. Everyone I have ever spoken with who has ridden the OD and Tevis says the OD is tougher, no doubt. I had the pleasure of sharing trail a few years back with Heather and Jerermy Reynolds (both very successful international FEI endurance riders) during their first OD.. and it will be their last. To hear that from people who have not only done Tevis, but won it multiple times was shocking. Yet we keep going back for more.

This ride was DH and George's second attempt to finish, Sultan's first attempt and my 4th time on the trail (I was 2/3 in previous attempts with Dream). So no pressure! This year's entries were way up, with 33 starting the 100, 50+ starting the 50, 60+ starting the LD, and 30+ doing the intro ride. Camp was packed!

The weather gods couldn't have been kinder to us. This ride is notorious for being grossly hot and humid.. but this year was perfect. It was 58 when we left camp at 5:15 and it wasn't long before the sun was rising and a lovely breeze picked up.

The ride is also notorious for rocks and big climbs.. and this year did not disappoint.

Got into the first hold and it was almost chilly! Vetted through with no issues, despite a cut on Sultan's foot. We had a couple friends as crew, which is such a luxury. The first hold is shared by all the distances, so we had an abundance of help as the 50 milers crew were there too.

Heading out on the second loop, which has a killer 6 mile very rocky climb.

Wallaby, Remali, tinyliny and 7 others like this.
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    06-17-2014, 03:59 PM
The next hold we were not allowed to have crew, but the OD had plenty of volunteers available to help. I was able to relax enough to eat part of a sandwich (I am a horrible eater on rides)!

The third loop has less quantity of rocky trail.. but it starts with a 7 mile climb.

Next hold we were able to meet up with our crew again. We got to hear about how the people riding in front of us were doing and were pleased to hear most were doing well.

Heading out on the next loop, we caught up with a lone horse and rider. She quickly joined up with us. Ironically, she was good friends with a lady we had randomly met on trail at the last 100 we had done (in Vermont).

Next hold had the last of the light vanishing from the day. From that point, the massive climbs and horrible rocks were done and we were heading for home!

The horses were happy to be headed home and didn't hesitate in the dark. Sultan had his power walk on and led most of the way. It wasn't long until we dropped off the last trail onto the road back to camp. The moon was full and the night was full of the call of whippoorwills. Crossing the finish line - four abreast, tied for 10th - was magic. Everyone passed the final vetting with flying colors.

The boys earned their buckles!

    06-17-2014, 09:06 PM
Looks like you had an awesome time! I'd love to do something like this, someday... Congrats, and thanks for sharing the pics 8D
phantomhorse13 likes this.
    06-17-2014, 09:59 PM
Green Broke
Wow, you're living my dream... thanks for sharing, I love the photos!

Congratulations!! You did a heckuva great job!! How long did it take you? I would need a lot of ibuprofen, ha.
AnitaAnne and phantomhorse13 like this.
    06-17-2014, 10:13 PM
So amazing. I can only dream to accomplish one day what you have! Such beautiful country and so different from what I'm used to down here in sandy, no hill Florida.
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    06-17-2014, 10:21 PM
This is so awesome ! Is it really 100 miles? I can't believe that. I can't imagine riding in one day 100 miles. Were you cantering much of that time? I would totally totally totally totally love to do this.

I just wanted to add that when I say totally totally totally love to do this, I mean in my dreams. I'm 56 and never done any kind of endurance ride before in my life. But, it would be so cool.
    06-18-2014, 10:00 AM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
This is so awesome ! Is it really 100 miles? I can't believe that. I can't imagine riding in one day 100 miles. Were you cantering much of that time?
My garmin said 99.68, so pretty darned close to 100!

Our average moving pace was about 6 mph, which translates to mostly walk and trot with the occasional canter just to use some different muscles. This ride has such a variety of footing that you make time where you can, otherwise you may wind up overtime (only allowed 24 hours to complete, including the hold times).
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    06-18-2014, 10:05 AM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I just wanted to add that when I say totally totally totally love to do this, I mean in my dreams. I'm 56 and never done any kind of endurance ride before in my life. But, it would be so cool.
There is no reason you can't, assuming your health and your horse's health is up to it. One of the ladies I was riding with will turn 65 this year. There are several people in our region in their late 70s and even early 80s who are still regularly competing.

There are other distances to start out with, so you can work your way up to 100s if that is your goal. But many people find they are happy riding the lessor distances and have no desire to move up - around here many people refer to Limited Distance rides (rides under 50 miles) as the "luxury distance" as it sure is nice to be "done by 1!"
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    06-18-2014, 12:31 PM
Takes me back! Great photos. Thank you for sharing.
Well done!
phantomhorse13 likes this.
    06-18-2014, 02:35 PM
I really like the photo of you with the ride title. Ya'll look sharp!!
phantomhorse13 likes this.

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