Monday, January 28, 2013

Distance Derby 2012 Party!


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  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. 


Derby Party 035


Cindy Nelson 307.7 miles


Derby Party 036


Shari Parys 684.20 miles


Derby Party 038


Tammy Musil 705.18 miles


Derby Party 039


Terri MacKeogh 836.02 miles




Derby Party 040


Jess Vallery 1071.73 miles


Derby Party 041


Tammy Vasa 1235.80 miles


Derby Party 042


Heather Howells 1287.59


Derby Party 043


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. 



Derby Party 044


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. 



Derby Party 046


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!




Sunday, January 6, 2013

Distance Derby 2012

The Leader Board has been posted and the 2012 Distance Derby is now complete.  It has a fun year "riding" with all of you and I hope that you have met and/or exceeded your goals.  At the very least, have a nicely conditioned horse in your barn.

The Derby pushed me faster and farther than I normally ride and it shows for me and my horse.  I have all of you to thank.  It wouldn't have been near as fun without you.

I look forward to more rides in Distance Derby 2013 and hope to meet you on the trail.

Congrats to all the finishers.  Happy Trails.

Reminder:  The Distance Derby '12 Awards Ceremony will be held Sunday, January 27 at Chance Ridge in Elkhorn at 4:00 PM. Pot Luck; bring your own table service and a dish to share.  The address is 508 N Skyline Road in Elkhorn.  Easy to find; simply exit Skyline Road from Dodge Street.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And the Winner is…..


If you have been following the Distance Derby Leader Board, most of us were left in the dust early in January by Christine of Team 15 Purple and Juanita Team 41.  Who rides 200 miles in January anyway?  Well, these two women do and did.  And it has been fun to see their progress through the year. 




Both women, Juanita and Christine are from Iowa and both have husbands who supported their craziness.  They became riding buddies when they could and it has been fun watching them exchange not only smack but encouragement along the way.  I think I said many times it could go either way and up until the last miles came in, I wasn’t betting on a winner.  Looking at the monthly stats, you can see why.  Its especially cool to see that they both pushed it the extreme this last month; really down to the last week and the last few days. 




The winner of the 2012 Distance Derby goes to Juanita, Team 41 with an impressive 2,160.42 miles.  Congratulations, Juanita.  You ran a good, fun race as well as providing encouragement and support to your fellow Derby riders.  I admire your dedication and ambition and want to be you when I grown up.  Hats off to you!


Second place goes to Christine of Team 15, logging 2,110.40 miles.  It could have easily gone the other way.  The camaraderie and friendships you and Juanita have shared along the way, I am sure has been a bonus through this all.  You ran a good race.  Congrats to you, Christine, and thank you for supporting the Derby and the contestants. 


Third place goes to Brenda Messick of Team #14 who logged 1,351.07 miles, mostly on her good quarter horse, Shaggy.  Brenda has since taken on a new challenge, training endurance horses and we will most likely see her on Arabs this coming spring.  Congratulations, Brenda.


And an ever so close Fourth place goes to Janette Kimes, Team #49.  A long time Trail Time participant, Janette now found herself chasing miles instead of hours and really beat the trail.  Just a tad over 4 miles shy of claiming that Third place victory.  It was that close!  Congratulations, Janette. 


The Leader Board has been updated to reflect those “for sure” wins in green.  There are a few placings shown in yellow that are too close to call, pending additional miles which could yet be submitted. 


I want to thank all the contestants for their participation in our first Distance Derby.  Your smiles, enthusiasm, honor and sportsmanship have been evident as you raced and supported your fellow riders, always mindful that the horse or mule comes first.  I’m proud of you all. 



The Race is Over


Sheila Team 7


Officially forty-six of the original seventy-four riders crossed the finish line after the long and much heated twelve-month Distance Derby.  Okay, a slight exaggeration but made for a good opening line.  Forty posted rides in November and 33 riders were still out there when winter hit in December – well, for some of us anyway!  It gave California gal, Sheila of Team 7, an opportunity to hop, skip and jump passed a few riders!


MeMe Team 68


To date, the last ride was posted by MeMe of Team 68 as she logged her final 2012 miles at the stroke of midnight and rode across into 2013, putting on the first rides of this year in the Distance Derby 2013.  I have to give it to those Iowa women – they tackled some tough conditions these last few weeks!




The early winner looks to be the self-proclaimed Crazy Woman from Iowa, our own Juanita, Team 41 logging about 140 miles this week.  Riders have 7 days to turn in their miles from the last ride.  Christine #15 and Juanita have traded leads all year. 


Christine #15


Did Christine hold back any miles from this last week to steal the victory?  It’s a waiting game that could change daily. 


Congrats to all the riders who crossed the finish line.  You played the game and rode your own race.  And that’s what it was all about.  Give your horse (or mule) a little extra loving today for taking you this far. 


If your miles are complete, please go to your page and put a comment that no further miles will be submitted and that your ride is done.  That may help us determine the winner a little quicker.  :) 



Monday, December 31, 2012

Going Stealth

(Just poking fun here… beginning a few days ago)


It’s killin’ me to go dashing through the snow and not Facebook about it.  Actually, its killing me to go dashing through the snow at all in this cold COLD weather.  And its all because of Grabb’n Leather (Team 45).  He just chaps my hide and almost literally!  Did I mention how cold it is?

final stretch

I’ve been sitting in 7th place in the Derby for the last month or so – maybe longer… really, who’s counting…..  I’m pretty sure I blogged that I would probably finish the Derby in 7th or 8th Place and I think I even mentioned that I was cool with either place – just glad to finish in the Top 10.  Cause really, its not like I’m that competitive or anything.  And really, there is only a week left and I have a 40 mile lead (40.29 miles to be exact) over the person in 8th Place and it is SUB ZERO cold outside…. 


So today as I was filling up my truck, I was skimming email on my iPhone and I see that Mr. 8th Place Tim Leatherman submitted like 25 miles in the last week.  Where the heck did that come from.  Is he jockeying for 7th Place.  Doesn’t he know we have a foot of snow on the ground?  My roads are icy!  I can’t ride in this crap.  WTH?  But while standing at the Casey’s gas pump I realized that moment that I wasn’t okay with 8th Place At.All!  So if I wanted to keep my placing, well, I guess I was going to have to ride my blasted horse in the Arctic!  Take that Ol’ Bustin’ Leather!


So I come home and gear up.  Quick math says four miles a day till the end of the year and I should be set.  I warmed a bag of rice in the microwave (to warm Windy’s bit) while I put on my winter layers and went and fetched my horse.


Well, evidently they don’t have the snow in northwestern Missouri like we do or Grabb’n Leather Dude wouldn’t be putting on THAT many miles.  I bet he doesn’t have to go through three foot of snow, up hill both ways, to get his miles.  And did I mention the wind was never at my back? 


And then, to add insult to injury, evidently they didn’t test the iPhone in Antarctica because at 2.8 miles, it froze up.  Went dead.  Kaput!  Since I was using the GPS on the iPhone and did not have my Garmin, that was it; I was done for the day.  So 1.2 shy that I’ll have to pick up another day. 

I can only guesstimate what I think Tim will ride this week and try to stay in front of him.  It is a race, you know.  But in all seriousness – if I end up in 8th Place (big sigh), I can live with it.  Tim’ s just giving me a helluva a race to the finish line!



Oh, sure.  Just when I think its safe to drive to town to get toilet paper, I see a new email come across my iPhone.  Yep, he’s been out riding again.  Logged another 6.55 miles in is “home land”.  I bet he doesn’t have 2 foot of snow on the ground!  There are only 11.69 miles separating us.  I need to do at least 6.55 today as I am sure he is out there trotting around his “home land” doing the same.  Might have to break this up and have two rides today.  John said I could just let him win and not worry about it.  Huh? 

There is no way I can NOT go to town today.  We have four bathrooms!  That lone roll of TP will not last that long! 

snow2 005


Well, John went to town for the toilet paper and I saddled up Windy and headed out.  The plan was to break it into two rides today; first on Windy and then on Fancy.  I was equipped with both the Garmin and my iPhone just in case.  I got 3.5 on Windy and 2.73 later on Fancy.   I kept checking the email to see if there were any miles posted by Mr. Team 45 and none came in.  Either he has gone stealth, too, or he isn’t riding.  The race continues. 


The sun was shining; there was no wind.  But the weatherbug only budged from –1 to 1 degree.  WTH?  But you know what?  Today I didn’t care if I was #7 or #8.   I started to fiddle around with doing laundry, spent way too much time on Facebook, helped my son clean out his closet and when I went to the dumpster with a load of garbage, I thought “Why again did I decide not to ride?”  By this time, the temp was up to 18 degrees but the sun was shining and it was halfway decent.  I happily quit my domestic obligations and went and fetched my best horse.  #45 has probably already unsaddled and having his 3rd cup of coffee!

ride windy 022a

After I rode off, I called Case and asked him to grab my camera and take some pictures from our porch.  The above picture is one of his.  He didn’t do too bad for never using that particular camera before.

I think Windy is back in work mode as we trudged through the new drifts in the alfalfa field.  We trotted along the fence and made a nice figure 8 by the point.  We ventured further out into the bean field again at a nice trot.  If I were not afraid of the footing, I would have let her go.  She was ready and felt good under me.  The wind found us about a half hour into our ride and while I was pretty comfortable for the most part, my face hurt.  We got a little over 6 miles.  If Leatherboy hasn't rode for 2 days, we have a 24 mile lead.  But I must assume he is strategizing like me and riding under cover.  The race continues.  Is it 2013 yet???


Okay, Tim.  I am over it.  Had I not been out to defend my #7 placing, I would have opted out of riding yesterday and missed what turned out to be a great ride with my husband. 

We so seldom get to ride together and it was worth the snow and wind to go down into the woods which looked a little like a winter wonderland. 

morning ride

So thank you for racing me to the finish line; that being 1,235.80 miles.  And if you are a mile ahead or a mile behind, it was great having you virtually by my side and albeit unbeknownst to you, pushing me a bit farther down the trail.

It’s been a great race.  Happy New Year!

(But maybe I won't publish this for a few more hours... he still has time to chase a few more miles.... :)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Final Stretch



Our second rider, Team 41 Juanita, has crossed the 2,000 mile marker and is now ahead by a nose.  There are only 7 miles separating the first and second rider.  I don’t think we will know the winner until the very end. 


In looking at the Leader Board, there are a lot of riders who are just a few miles away from that next placing.  Here in Nebraska, we aren’t being dealt the best weather for playing catch-up at this late date, but if you were so inclined, it could be done. 


Remember, all mileage must be submitted within 7 days of the ride, so the placings will not be final until January 7. 


I want to thank you for making this Distance Derby a success.  I have had a lot of fun chasing the miles and meeting many of you in person and through cyberspace.  I’m looking forward to doing it all over again.  To date, we have 68 teams for Distance Derby 2013


Don’t forget the Awards Ceremony January 27th at Chance Ridge.


Happy New Year to you all!