Those of you who know me well know that endurance riding is one of my biggest passions. Nothing beats the challenge of getting your horse fit enough to complete a long ride in tough terrain, of cantering for miles (or should that be kilometres?!) on end, with glorious views where the horizon seems never-ending.
For many endurance riders, myself included, the Tevis Cup (or the Western States Trail Ride) is the ultimate pinnacle of the sport. 100 miles in 24 hours over the beautiful Sierra Nevada in Northern California. It’s a tough ride over challenging terrain and if you complete it, that completion belt buckle has been well and truly earnt. Yet due to its location and the prohibitively high expense of taking part, it has remained a dream. Until now.
The Coronavirus has meant almost a full shut-down for endurance, like many other sports. This meant that the ride couldn’t go ahead under its usual format. So the decision was made to offer the Tevis Cup as a virtual ride in 2020. Instead of 100 miles in 24 hours, the challenge is to complete 100 miles in 100 days. As it has been opened for international riders, this is my chance! I have signed Marjorie and I up for the event, and I’m going to be using this blog to record our progress, using the actual route map to track where we’ve got to.
As well as aiming to complete the distance within 100 days, I’m also keeping an eye on the time we’re riding, aiming to complete it within the 100-hour limit. This means an average speed of around 6.67 kph (or 4.2 mph). Achievable but a bit of a stretch target with our current fitness levels – hers as well as mine. Perhaps I should have signed up for the non-rider division as well…
The trail opens on the 1st August. See you there!