Garrett Ford won the Tevis Cup One Hundred Mile race which ended at the finish line in Auburn CA at 10:05 PM, after a 16 hour and 50 minute ride. There were 98 riders who finished the race out of 205.
I remain Diane’s biggest fan in the east (and Boo’s too). We started together in Rowayton CT. Knowing Diane, she’ll be back to the Tevis Cup next year. A year ago Diane and Boo won the Firework 50 in Santa Cruz CA in Diane’s 26th year of long-distance racing.
10:32 AM Update: The map shows the elevations Diane is riding. The start of the race at Robie Park was at 7200 feet. Many riders have already passed the highest elevation at Immigrant Pass at 8700+ feet. Diane started the race at 5:15 AM her time and 8:15 AM our time. There were 205 starters and already three have dropped or were pulled out (2 men and 1 woman). We will get an idea where Diane stands at the 20 mile mark at Lyon Ridge at 6500 feet.
12 noon Update: Diane and “Boo” were 12th at the 20 mile mark after 2.5 hours riding (at 7:45 AM Pacific time 15 minutes ago) down to Lyon Ridge at 6500 feet. Now comes the hardest part according to Diane’s description below.
2 PM Update: Diane and “Boo” were 40th at the 36 mile mark after 5 hours 4 minutes riding (at 10:19 AM Pacific 1:19 PM our time) to Robinson’s Flat at 6730 feet. But she made through the toughest part. Fifteen riders have been dropped – 12 horses were pulled because of lameness or metabolic problems, 4 at Robinson Flats. The next leg will be a dramatic drop from 6730 feet to 4800 feet elevation. Of the 190 riders left only 120 have been identified that made it to the 20 mile mark at Lyon Ridge. Mariposa CA where Diane and Boo live is at an elevation of about 2000 feet so the elevation has to be difficult for Boo.
3 PM Update: Boo was pulled from the race at the 36 mile mark after 5 hours 4 minutes riding to Robinson’s Flat at 6730 feet. The explanation given is “surface factors.” This was a heroic effort for Diane and Boo. The extreme altitude had to be a factor for Boo. 179 riders remain on the course but many have yet to make it to the 36 mile mark so we will see what the casualty number will be at Robinson’s Flat. It must have been a thrilling few days at this beautiful part of California.
This is a real horse race as Diane describes below because she won’t be walking Arabian Peekaboo (or just “Boo”). The race starts at 5:15 AM Pacific time on Saturday and I’ll be there. I will be following the race in a webcast at the Tevis website and report on Diane’s progress. The race starts on the west side of Lake Tahoe at Squaw Valley and heads down the Sierras to Auburn CA in the Sierra foothills. Becki and I have driven this route many times from Donner Pass and Truckie down by Auburn east of Sacramento when driving to the east coast or to Tahoe or to Yosemite Park. It’s beautiful country.
Click to enlargeThe drive on Route 80 from Squaw Valley to Auburn is an easy 77 miles. Diane’s path will be a more tortuous 100 miles.
The race in Diane’s words:
You realize, I hope, that the probability of my completing this race, based on historical data is about 19%. 80+% of first-timers get pulled. Add to that the fact that I’m quite a bit older than the average rider and you can see I have a bit of an uphill battle.
The most treacherous part of the ride and where the largest number of riders run into trouble is the first 36 miles from the start at Robie Park to the Vet Check at Robinson Flat. There are bogs, boulders, very rocky trail and a 5000′ climb to negotiate. This is the part of the ride where luck plays a huge part. It is said that every horse that does the Tevis Trail has a rock with his name on it. The trick is to see that rock in time and step over it. Approximately 26% of those pulled are at Red Star, mile 28.5, and through Robinson Flat just under 40% of the horses that will be pulled have been. That is about 19% of the total number that started the race.
The Vet Check with the second highest number of pulls is Chicken Hawk, mile 64. Approximately 8% of the starters don’t get past that point. The reason is that the preceding 28 miles is where you ride up and down “the canyons”. They are hot, often triple digits, DUSTY and steep. Many riders get off their horses and “tail” coming up out of each canyon. Tailing is when you walk behind your horse holding its tail so it can partially pull you up the trail. This is much easier on the horse than carrying the rider. Unfortunately for me, my level of fitness is insufficient to do this. Peekaboo will have to do all the work. Not good for him
The third highest number of pulls is at Francisco’s, mile 85. About 6.5% of the starters get pulled here, most of them for being “overtime”. Each VC has a cut-off time that is based on knowing that if you can’t get out of that VC by its cut-off time, you simply won’t have enough time to finish the ride. If you do not leave a VC before its cut-off, they pull you for overtime. The cut-offs early in the ride are pretty generous but they begin to tighten up at Foresthill, which is 68 miles into the ride.
Just over a third of those who will finish the ride get out of Foresthill before dark. A VERY few clear Francisco’s when there is still daylight. In 2010, only two horses did that. [Note: in 2011, due to an unusually late melt of the snow pack, most of the Tevis was not ridden on the Western States Trail so that data is irrelevant to any analysis of the ride as it is usually run.]
I hope this gives you a good overview of the difficulties to be faced on this ride. My vet, who has completed Tevis and ridden all over the US (she is originally from New York State) says this ride is like NOTHING anywhere else. Oy vey! Did I bite off more than I can chew?