November 23, 2015

Multi Day 50s Versus Two Day 100

It is that time of year again. I am about to renew my AERC membership (a little late - oops!) and have been perusing the ride calendar for 2016. It is a little frustrating because a lot of rides are not on it yet, but by looking back over 2015 and guessing which will recur this year I can put together a rough plan of attack.

While doing so I noticed that the spring ride I am aiming for offers up a two day 100. This rang some alarm bells deep in my brain and I recalled a Facebook blow up about two day 100s and whether or not they should exist. As I recall the main point of contention was that they are reported the same as one day 100s and as such the rider gets points and bragging rights that those who ride one day 100s do not believe they deserve. I believe nothing came of the cat fight and I didn't get involved because I believe that you should mind your own crap and stay out of everyone else's. Plus I always shake my head at those who give a crap about what distances others ride as if it has any bearing on their own accomplishments. But I digress...

I am already planning on doing a multi day in April, but the thought of a two day 100 is very intriguing. For those who haven't heard of these the main difference between a two day 100 and riding two separate 50s is that if you fail to complete on the second day, you get a whole lot of nothing. It is 100 miles or bust even though you get the night off between the two 50 mile rides. The benefit is that you get credit for 100 miles for both your record and in the point system which grants you a big advantage over having singed up and completed the same 100 miles, but as two separate 50 mile rides. More of a risk, but a bigger reward.

Personally, I don't care about points since I don't attend enough rides to make them matter and my ride record is useless in my life except when talking about endurance. Neither of those plays any part in my decision.

So why would I personally chose to do one over the other?

Well, to start the two day 100 is cheaper. It is $130 versus paying for two 50s at $90 each. Even with the multi ride discount of $10, to do the same rides would be $40 cheaper as a two day 100. Then there is the extra challenge that a two day 100 brings. Yes it is the same distance, same course and same basic rules except if I don't finish all of it, I don't get anything. This means that I would have to get up and ride the next morning even if I'm sore or grumpy or not in the mood. I risk losing everything. While I don't really care about points and such, the two day 100 historically has like 2 or 3 riders in it. Even if I finish dead last I still top 10 :) Plus the fact that few do it means that it has its own bragging rights and such.

The downside? I only get to two rides a year (part of why I want to start doing multi days) and I am still shooting for that elusive decade team (one 50 a year for 10 years). If we complete day 1 but get pulled day 2 then I just lost my spring bid for our decade team 50. It puts a lot of stress on the fall ride which I am hoping to avoid because that ride is going to be used for something more important.

Again, more risk equals more reward, but is the risk worth it?

I have plenty of time to decide and part of it will depend on how good Gem is doing heading into it. It will be our first ride back since her injury and although the ride is very barefoot friendly, I plan to use it as my test run of the Easy Care NG shoes. So maybe doing two 50s would be smarter. I just don't know.



  1. It sounds like you're planning to do 100 miles either way? If that's the case, and you're confident that you can re-apply the shoes (or there will be someone available at the ride to do so, should something go wrong), then I say go for the 2-day 100.

    1. Yeah...I'd like to get 100 in over the weekend to prep for a one day 100 next winter. I didn't even think about the shoe thing. If she loses a shoe day 1 and there isn't a farrier there to slap a new one on then we would be out for the entire thing. Hmmm.... this is why I like barefoot!!

  2. Refresh my memory; have you done a 50 yet? I've read your entire blog, but I genuinely cannot recall right now.

    I guess my thoughts are this; which is more important to you goal-wise? Decade team? Or riding 100 miles?

    I know my personal goal is Decade team. And as such, I'm going to keep trying a 50 until I complete one (well, I'm going to keep trying at rides I feel my horse stands a CHANCE of completing). After that, then if I want to move up in mileage, cool. Or try a 100. Or do back to back 50s. Or just do LDs.

    I think that you need to decide which goal is the more important one to you and pursue that one first. Which gives you the best chance of obtaining that particular goal?

    That's my particular thought process.

    Good luck whichever you decide on!!

    1. We have completed two 50s both mid pack and she did great. Decade team is my main goal although she will finish at 26 if all goes well and that's a bit of a stretch it would seem. Either way we are going to keep at it until she tells me she doesn't want to any more.

      I want to do a 100 on her before she turns 20 and she is now 16 and will be 17 during this coming season. I plan to do the multi day in April regardless I just don't know if I should do it as two separate 50s or one big 100.

      You are right though. If I want decade team then doing two 50s is smarter. That way I still get a 50 for the season regardless of what happens on day 2.