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2023 Virginia City 100 - Alex Lewis

By Alexandra Lewis
September 18 2023

It was a busy day here at VC100! It was SO FUN to see the PNW representing with so many horse and rider teams!!

Marco and I had an amazing first 25 miles with Stevie Delahunt and Carmen Jackson and Mallori Farrell ; horses were feeling fresh and ready to go!! Thanks for the fun this morning ladies!!

Marco had no problem navigating the rock in the dark, something I was worried about but clearly don't need to be! We cruised through the first 16 miles of the ride without a hitch and enjoyed the views and how strong Marco felt!! I was having to do a lot of holding him back, but I knew that was going to be the situation because of how fit he is right now!

As we started walking through someone's property which was where we were routed through, Marco went down in some sand onto both knees, cutting them up, and the right one was pretty bad. I noticed at the vet hold he had lost a glue on boot after I did a boot check at mile 10 or so, which is why I think he went down in the first place.

I doctored him up in under 3 minutes, had the bleeding stopped, liquid bandage on the cuts to keep them from getting dirty, and caught back up to the group. Marco felt strong after, but not 100%, which was concerning this early on in the ride.

I told Marco that I wanted to keep going, but we would stop at the check 25 miles in if he wasn't ok, but he needed to show me how he felt; not more than 1 mile later, he almost went down again on his knees, so I had pretty much made up my decision right then. And this wasn't because of the rock, this happened in areas without rock.

We had some steep grades to go down after that, and Marco wasn't as sure of himself on the downhill, so I stayed on the ground on the descents, and when we got down to flat road he wanted to fly and he felt GREAT on the flat... However this ride is anything but flat!!

Getting into Kivett Lane Vet Check, Marco vetted through with a 44 heart rate, but was every so slightly off, and the vets were super supportive in helping me figure out what to do!! Dr Dan Chapman gave me the option of icing and trotting again, which we did and Marco had improved, but my intuition told me not to go back out.

Dr Dan agreed that Marco's right knee would only get worse over 100 miles, not better, but if we wanted to keep icing and moving along in the ride to see, then we could keep going. To me it felt like staving off the inevitable. Marco was saying his knee was just ever so slightly painful so we better call it. I decided that it would be best if I Rider Optioned so we pulled. I feel really good about this choice, and for me the horses must always come first!

I had a FANTASTIC experience at this ride, it's so laid back, these Nevada Derby Riders know how to put on a great ride!! The trail was crazy rocky just as advertised and I can't wait to come back again to tackle the Virginia City 100!! Crysta Turnage you have to be there next season to ride it with me. Thank you for the wonderfully marked trail, a BEAUTIFUL view from camp, challenging trails, the great volunteers and management, and an epic adventure!!

Marco is all tucked in to his blanket, Simone Mauhl and Karen Gundersen and I are watching the horses come in, and it's been a good day. Thank you to these amazing women for showing up when I needed crew, and for having my back... Your friendships mean the world to me!! I'm grateful for your time this weekend with me, your hard work taking care of us, and the fun we had!!

On to the next adventure!!