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We Are Flying Solo

July 21, 2011

Getting My Crew On

The athlete at rest.
I am fit to burst with excitement -- you have observed, if you check Solo's calendar with due diligence, that in mid-August, I am scheduled to crew for lifeshighway as she and Pete tackle a tough endurance race in the NC mountain rocks.  Ever since she started racing, I have been itching to go and crew one with her and watch what happens when you assemble a crowd of horses at varying levels of fitness and training and turn them loose to race through the woods for miles.

Last night, I pummeled lh with questions about what duties entail. My primary responsiblities are to make sure that she and Pete are properly pulsed in and recharged during the mandatory vet check around about the halfway point (the race is 25 miles). Horses are required to stop for 40 minutes here once their pulse has dropped to a pre-ordained level. They are untacked, cooled off, fed, watered, and monitored for soreness or injury, much like the 10-minute box in eventing, only with a longer time interval. Oh, and the riders get a drink and a snack too. I also get the dubious honour of trotting Pete out for the vet, so I can only hope my prancing skills are up to snuff for the ground jury. Thankfully, unlike eventing, I don't have to bathe the horse or wear a skirt.

My goal: to be the awesomest crew ever. Thanks to Solo's sweat-monster habits, I do have mad hosing and scraping skillz. Now to practice speed-tacking and snack-courier methods...

I hope to be able to get lots of pictures and video for lh for posterity.  Do I pack the cheering pom-poms?  Might be hard to wave them with a camera in one hand, bucket in the other, sweat scraper in my teeth.

The course will be steep, rocky, narrow, and muddy so it is going to be a challenge and hopefully I will not witness anyone falling off the mountain!  Pete and lh are a saavy, experienced team and I have no doubt that they will have a thing or two to teach their competitors.  I could ride Solo till I was blue in the face, but he will never be as fit as that little Arab is; it never ceases to amaze me how he just keeps. on. going.  

Three weeks to go and I'm counting down!!


  1. I'm excited for you, and can't wait to hear about it!
    So cool!

  2. Hhhmmm, maybe you could create some sort of snack gun/trebuchet so you could hurl snacks & drinks at LH even from a distance. Or just keep it simple with a snack slingshot.
    I'm also fully supportive of some sort of super embarassing Team LH Cheering Squad outfit and/or loudly cheering, "rah, rah sis boom bah, lifeshighway, lifeshighway, you'll go fah!"

  3. Snack slingshot ftw!!! Frizzle's on to something.

    You may need to practice with her beforehand to make sure your aim and her mouth are coordinated, though.

  4. OMG, snack slingshot is brilliant! As a bonus, I can slow down other racers as their horses are spooked by flying Cliff bars!

  5. Oh! Please do a snack slingshot! Please!! lol!!

  6. Haha, good thing LH wears a helmet -- my aim is not so great.

  7. One thing I've learned by reading this blog is that you NEVER do anything halfway. I'm sure LH will have the most awesomest crew ever. (Still chuckling at the idea of a snack slingshot. After some testing you could totally market it for millions!)

  8. How cool for the both of you. I'm sure you're gonna be learning a thing or two. Petey's gonna have the bestest crew EVER! LH should totally borrow your helmet cam. So she can video the snack sling shot of course.

  9. Now I feel challenged to create said slingshot. Hmmmm....