Friday, March 06, 2020

Patagonia: Gaucho Derby Race Day 1

Richard Dunwoody photo - Full Story

March 6 2020

It was fast and furious from the start line this morning as the Pioneers began their epic trek across 500 km of Patagonia. A number of riders, including Zsofia (ZH), Roberta (RM), Annie (AA) and Warren (WS) hit the gas pedal on the way to vet station 1 (VS1) topping out at over 25km/hr with a pack horse alongside. Other riders chose a more moderate pace, adopting the “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” type of mentality which can often yield great results, ensuring there’s something left in the tank to finish the race. After all, it’s a long old haul to the finish line just a stone’s throw from El Chalten. A few riders – Shirley (SH), Nichole (NM) – chose an alternate route around some hilly topography; a plucky gamble which could have put them towards the front had it not been for that awkward impassable boggy canyon floor which forced a detour back towards where they had originated. 100 points to them for giving it a go. (No, the points don’t count.) While we’re at it, let’s give extra pretend points to Julie (JY) who hit the deck not far out of the start camp when her bridle parted ways with her horse and her horse parted ways with its human. The horse then bolted back to the start line for Derby Start Take Two. Don’t count Julie out just yet; a firefighter by trade and a Mongol Derby veteran, she’s as tough as they come and will be back in the thick of it in no time...

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