Open Source Athlete - December 2013 Edition

Thursday, 5th December 2013

It's been 7 months since I last wrote anything on Open Source Athlete. The missus and I threw ourselves into the deep end with the move to Pagosa Springs and as the year got progressively busier, I fell off the blogging band wagon.

The year had some high's and low's – way more high's though, and it keeps getting better as it draws to a close. I continued to train and run with passion, I dabbled a bit on the bike after a 2-year hiatus, I even started weight training again. However, the thing that has consumed much of time over the past few months is my passion and goal to participate in Endurance Horse Riding.

I have always had a passion for the horses since I was a kid, and any opportunity I had, I would ride. Since moving to Pagosa Springs in regional Colorado, it is clearly apparent that the horse riding community and culture is a huge part of daily living for many, and certainly a massive recreational outlet for the vast majority. It is with this accessibility to the industry that I have had the opportunity to ride often and develop close friendships and mentors, who have been extremely supportive of my ideas and dreams.

In keeping with my philosophy of More Than The Finish Line, and building on the support structure I have locally, I have set my sights on training for, qualifying and eventually riding the Tevis Cup, 100 miles, one-day trail ride. My aim is to do it sustainably and as naturally as possible, and I will get there when I get there! I aim to ride many 100 milers in my preparation, but ultimately the Tevis Cup has a special place in my heart, as it is the same course as the Western States 100, which I ran as race #1 of the 2012 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.

In fact the history of 100 mile running began with the Tevis Cup, and a now legend in our sport called Gordy Ainsleigh.

I have been fortunate enough over time to race many epic events – from the wilds of Papua New Guinea to the commercial juggernaut of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. From multi-day events in the Sahara, to multi-day events around Hawaii!

However, I think that the thing I am most excited about, is traveling full circle on the More Than The Finish Line timeline, and attempting something totally new, totally out of my comfort zone, and totally not about me (all about the horse). Virtually everything I have done (with the exception of my extremely important, necessary and much loved crew support) has been individual in nature. Endurance riding is 100% about the developing the partnership, bond and trust that is formed between rider and horse.

I have suffered many times before over the 100 mile distance......but I knew what I was getting myself involved in. Such a different concept now in that I'm also responsible for something so totally dependent on my judgment.


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