By Carmen Madrid
For racing champion Emily Miller, preparations for the 2011 Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in Morocco officially began in January near San Diego, California. Miller joined off-road legend Rod Hall along with former rally winner and expert navigator, Louise Bergeron of Canada, at the U.S. Gazelles Training Course held 14-16 January at the Imperial Sand Dunes.
And Miller was not alone. For the first time ever, three other Americans will join her in making the trip to the all-women rally across the Sahara. Before then, they must continue to train--and keep their fingers crossed that the unrest in the Middle East won't further spill over into their host country of Morocco, forcing rally organizers to cancel the event.
For three days, Miller, Amy Lerner, Trisha Reina, and media liaison Michelle Naranjo came together to tackle the wind-blown sand of Algodones Dunes, California's largest sand sea. It was the perfect place to learn how to approach the rigors these women will face once they reach the world's largest ergs.
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