It wasn’t the Oscars or the Emmys. It was much more important. It was a tribute to the 2012 Distance Derby riders; winners and finishers. For those who couldn’t be there, here was our little presentation. (Special thanks to Kathy of Team 50/Zuni for the pictures).
The Great Horsetrailriders Distance Derby was the brainchild of Christine (#15) and me (#1) when we found a similar race online and were too late to submit our entry. We decided we could do it ourselves and hoped to get a few people to join us.
We got more than a few. By the end of January, we had seventy-four entries from 16 states.
The majority of riders were from Nebraska, friends and followers of Horsetrailriders.com. Not surprisingly, Iowa and Missouri also had a good showing. A handful of riders signed up and we never heard from them again. Others dropped out early while others stopped recording miles months before the contest ended. If a rider submitted miles in the last quarter of 2012, they “completed” the race. Forty-four riders of just over 59% completed the Derby.
Terri of Team MacKeogh coined the phrase “Indian Winter” which described what those of us in the midwest was experiencing early last year. While the game was new and riders were excited to log those first miles, we were also experiencing above average temperatures; even in the 70’s occasionally.
The most miles were logged in April; the fewest in December. Not because of the cold, but I think because the group, as a whole, was just plain tired of riding!
When dividing the group up by 100 miles, it was pretty evenly dispersed. Some were obviously in it for the race (the 2,000 milers) while crossing the 1,000 mile marker was just as important to others. Coincidently, most of those 1,000 mile riders also fell in the top 10. I truly believe most of the riders started not knowing how much they really ride and as a result of the Derby, perhaps rode a little farther than they would have in prior years.
There were some very close numbers as shown above. Had we known Jamie (#67) was only .06 miles from Alice (#46), we would have encouraged her to get out there on New Year’s Eve and ride! When you look at those in 3rd to 8th place, only 125 miles separated them. And the winner won by only 50 miles.
Having the honors of keeping score for this group, I read all the comments. I could do an entire series of blogs on the snippets I took from those posts. But my memory fails me and time is precious.
When we started the Derby, we really expected the riders to be distance riders; those who do endurance or competitive trail and that those of pleasure ride, would really have to keep up with the pack. Surprisingly, it was the other way around. Of the 44 completions, only those riders shown above were involved in some sort of distance competition other than the Derby.
When I listed the above mules and horses, I was pretty sure I had missed one. I thought there were fifteen on this particular team and yes, I did. The name escapes me today. But isn’t it fascinating that one rider could consistently put miles on all her equine?
That was Leigh Ann’s team: The Half-Assed.
Many of us ride together on occasion; others quite often. It seemed like no matter where we were, we would count heads and ask “How many Derby girls are here?” Yes, there were a few token men, but most often, it was just us girls.
Our first and second place riders met through the Derby and both living in Iowa, put on many miles together.
Although MeMe of Team 68 fell just out of the top 10, her claim to fame was recording the first 2013 miles just after midnight. She and Juanita had just completed their 2012 ride on New Year’s Eve.
Mileage awards were presented to those in attendance. Kathy captured the following pictures. I am sorry we did not get everyone in attendance; I was nervous and didn’t think to pose for the camera until later in the presentation.
Cindy Nelson 307.7 miles
Shari Parys 684.20 miles
Tammy Musil 705.18 miles
Terri MacKeogh 836.02 miles
Jess Vallery 1071.73 miles
Tammy Vasa 1235.80 miles
Heather Howells 1287.59
Leigh Ann Freeman 1301.88 miles
Right from the start, it was obvious there were two riders out for the win. Christine started out in the lead and at each months’ end, it belonged to either of the riders. No one really knew how the race would end until it was over.
This is a good illustration of who rode the most miles each month. We were all a bit perplexed to see October and November have such bazaar results; perhaps those two months changed the pace of the game.
The last week in December, Christine of Team Purple donned her winter wear and hit the roads logging close to a hundred miles and giving her the highest month total.
Christine rode 2110.40 miles earning her second place in the Distance Derby
Admittedly, Juanita said her husband, Ray, pushed her those last few weeks. “Ride your own ride,” he told her. Get out there and do it. And she did. She logged close to 100 miles between Christmas and New Year’s, unsaddling for the last time in 2012 just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, securing her first place victory by 50 miles.
Juanita Serafini rode 2160.42 miles in the 2012 Great Horsetrailriders Distance Derby and won first place in the competition.
It was a great opportunity to host the first Distance Derby and to meet all the riders, albeit it some only virtually. I am honored to be associated with such a fine group of horseman. Your integrity and sportsmanship is highly recognized and the friendships made along the way, were just a bonus.
Congrats to all the riders.
The Distance Derby 2013 is underway! Be sure and check it out!