Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Run She Goes - Dressage Today

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Run She Goes

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I am feeling like a total slug this morning. A friend of mine just completed something called the Dopey Challenge at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. That’s not just a marathon, it’s 48.6 miles over four days! On Thursday, they run a 5K; on Friday a 10K; on Saturday a half marathon; and on Sunday a full marathon. I saw a picture of her on Facebook this morning with a bunch of medals around her neck.

Running four races and 48 miles over four days earns Molly Lane a lot of hardware.

Running four races and 48 miles over four days earns Molly Lane a lot of hardware.

I feel terrible that I didn’t know Molly Lane runs marathons, but she is not someone who talks about herself. And Molly lives way UP THERE in New Hampshire, while I’m DOWN HERE in North Carolina. I know Molly through her wonderful work with Dressage4Kids and Lendon Gray’s Youth Dressage Festival, where Molly handles all the sponsors and trophies, which is a huge job. She’s also the mom of a terrific dressage rider, Jocelyn Wiese. I see Molly once a year at the festival in New York in August, and she’s a whirling dervish with the awards all weekend.

Molly made a Facebook post on Saturday that the half-marathon portion of the Dopey Challenge had been cancelled because of bad weather, but the Disney folks said everyone would still get their awards on Sunday after the marathon. She didn’t think that was entirely kosher, so when the weather cleared she went to run the half-marathon course and found lots of other runners doing the same thing, when they didn’t have to – what an amazing group!

Molly has run the Dopey Challenge for four years, and last year she ran into Lisa Belcastro there, which is pretty amazing to see someone horsey you know in a crowd of 28,000 runners. What was also amazing was that Lisa ran the sponsorship for the Youth Dressage Festival for its first few years before Molly took over. I know Lisa from when I was involved with Chronicle of the Horse back in the ‘80s and she was an editor there. Lisa was the one who made the first call to me in 1999 that got me involved with Dressage4Kids.

Okay, so there is a lot of emphasis on fitness in dressage right now, but this level of dedication just blows my mind. Of course, if Molly’s in shape to run a maxi-marathon in the winter, that means she’s also running in New Hampshire in the winter. Hurts my lungs just to think about it. Riding one horse a day in New York during the winter was bad enough for me.

I am not going to say how old Molly is – let’s just say she’s in the same decade as me. I am on my own fitness kick, if only so that my vest points don’t poke out too much come spring. I just need to be able to ride one horse for an hour in summer weather without passing out (or judge 8 hours).

I did light workouts indoors and shoveled snow this weekend. After Molly’s inspiration, I’m headed back to the gym today to walk a mile on the treadmill, do some stretching and then go ride my horse. Or, maybe I’ll just longe. Let’s not go nuts here.

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