|Diana and Ali'i--pre-ride photo from the Tevis website|
For those who don't know she was kicked in the leg by a friend's horse just under 2 months ago and her leg was pretty badly beaten up. But she gave it the rest it needed and it healed well, and she was able to ride in Tevis. Her friend Janine took Ali'i for a month to condition him, as Diana wasn't able to ride him with her injured leg. I was sad to see that Janine and her horse were pulled at Chicken Hawk for metabolic reasons.
I followed her progress on the Tevis Webcast all day ( yes I know, I really need to get a life!!). It was frustrating at times, because it often took up to an hour and a half before results were updated and that's not counting the time zone difference. But I can only imagine the logistics of getting the info at the vet check stops, then compiling it, and typing it in. There were 231 riders who started the ride and 98 finished it within the given time. Tevis is in the top 10 rated endurance rides and is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference. The first ride was in 1955 and it has only been cancelled once and that was in 2008 due to the wild fires. Check out www.tevis.org for lots of pictures, information, and stories about Tevis. Riders who complete the ride within time and who's horses are deemed 'fit to continue' receive a silver buckle!!
The ride started at 5:15, PDT and it took such a long time before Diana's first results were shown. There must be such a glut of riders in those first couple of checks that they only gave the results for every check point for the leaders. But finally I saw she had reached the first one hour hold point at Robinson Flat at 11:42 PDT. That's 36 miles into the ride. As the day progressed, riders were pulled for horses going lame and for metabolic issues. Some riders chose to take themselves out of the ride. Diana kept going and moving up the ranking. By the Deadwood check in there were 152 riders left and Diana was 116. By Chicken Hawk, she was 95 out of 139. I was relieved to see her check in at Foresthill at 7:43--this is the 2nd one hour hold. She ranked 79 at that point. She was out of Foresthill (68 miles) at 8:48, out of Cal 2 (77 miles) at 9:42, and the Francisco's at 12:31(85 miles). Of course with the delay in reporting and the time difference, I finally lay down and slept around 2 MDT. I woke up at 4:30 and checked and Diana was reported out of the Lower Quarry at 2:42 and she was ranked 53. This is 94 miles into the race and was the last check point. There was no way I was going to bed now!! I waited and the results came up showing that Diana crossed the finish line at McCann Stadium in Auburn at 4 AM!! She was rider 55 out of 98 or to put it into an even greater prespective, rider #55 out of 231 who started!!
My hat's off to everyone who rides endurance--you have to be very brave and a little crazy!! I love you Diana, you are a hero!! Congratulations! And I know by tomorrow, if not sooner, you will already be thinking about next year's Tevis! Or maybe a little longer!! xoxoxoxo