Original Article: Guatemala Times
Guatemala's Mayan Adventure Ride, Ingenio Magdalena 2nd Edition
Guatemala. Preparations for Mayan Adventure Ride 2009, Ingenio Magdalena 2nd Edition, are going full speed. Only few more days to the start of the action at the beautiful base camp, Platinum Sponsor "Ingenio Magdalena". The horses will be arriving at base camp on Friday the 6th, for the veterinary inspection. It is a very important moment for the participants; the veterinarians are going to determine if the horses are fit to participate. If everything is OK they are going to be kept in quarantine inside portable boxes until the start of the race Saturday 4:00 PM. All the strict rules of the FEI have to be complied with, this is an international event certified by the FEI. The participating riders and horses will be able to qualify for national credits, for the Pan American games 2009 and the World Endurance Championship 2010 USA.
The event starts in the evening, 4:00 pm. The heath of Guatemala's south coast at the start of the race is going to turn fresh during the night and the sun light is going to be replaced by a nearly full moon with a sky full of stars. Some riders are going to use headlamps whilst others are going to trust their horse's night vision across the routes between sugar cane plantations.
Approximate time that the participants of the different categories are going to be riding:
Distance Start Finish hours
40 km 4:00 PM between 7:10 PM and 8:40 PM
60 km 4:00 PM between 8:25 PM and 10:40 PM
80 km 4:00 PM between 10:40 PM and 1:00 AM
120 km 4:00 PM between 2:40 AM and 6:20 AM
160 km 4:00 PM between 5:00 AM and 9:00 AM
The horses have to be in top shape and need a lot of "goodies" to have energy for the long difficult race. They are getting vitamins, food supplements, and special food: alfalfa and oats, to improve their performance and stamina for this challenge. This week the horses get only light workouts to help them accumulate glycogen in their liver and muscles, that way their energy storage will be full. Other reason to avoid vigorous exercise before the race is of course to prevent the horse from getting lame. The horse training began several months before the competition.
In these last days some riders will clip their horse's hair to help them to cool faster, because the sweat evaporates faster and the fresh air by convection helps to take the heat from the skin with the horse movement.
Janio Johnston is a Veterinarian and also a participant of The Mayan Adventure Ride: Ingenio Magdalena 2nd Edition.
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