Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tet Exchange Day 1: Lots of fun, lots of sun

The five teams of the Pony Club International Tetrathlon Exchange:
Ireland, Australia, Canada, UK and USA
Tet Exchange Organizer Pat Duffy couldn't have ordered better weather for our first official day of activities at the International Tetrathlon Exchange. The sun never stopped shining (which is going to cause some of our fairer-skinned competitors some regret after their day of sun worship!), the weather was gloriously cool (at least by American standards) and the relaxed day of practice and competition gave the teams a great chance to get to know each other.

Several members of the US team practice their starts off the block.
We began bright and early by squeezing into several cars and vans, most driven by those most-important members of the Pony Club family -- volunteers -- to Lucas Valley Swimming Pool in Marin County. After warming up, the teams first swam a practice race of 200 meters, and then swam a mixed-country relay. (Note: we'll post the results of the day's practice competitions in a later post.)

The US team: (from left) Christine McGrath, Keiley Smith,
Kenzie West, Megan Reader, Maggie Lloyd,
Rosie Purvis and Geneva Torsilieri
Following the swim practice, we again squeezed in private vehicles, clown-car style, and went to Pat and Mike Duffy's house for shooting and running practice competitions. In addition, pentathlon coach Shirley Anterbus was generous in sharing her time and expertise regarding the "gates" portion of the riding test.

Shirley Anterbus discusses gates, with an Australian
rider demonstrating.
After lunch and gates practice (and lots of lounging around in the sun) the tet competitors pulled out their air pistols and shot.

The tetrathlon shooting phase.
We finished the day with a 4K relay race, using the same teams as this morning's swim. Each runner ran one thousand meters on a recreational trail in the beautiful California hills.

Warming up before the start of the relay.
Today's activities were for fun and practice -- the results do not affect the outcome of the international competition, which will start on Sunday at Woodside Park. But first, we tour San Francisco, and spend two days at Yosemite National Park!

Loads of luggage!

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