Monday, February 19, 2007

Cellar Rats Take on Taupo

Originally uploaded by m0rehu.
Opotiki Cellar Rats reached new heights while running and walking around Lake Taupo in the Round the Lake Relay. We completed our fastest ever time of 14 hours and 27 minutes and were placed third in our highly competitive grade! For the first time in our history we were summoned to the stage amid rapturous applause and widespread acknowledgement to receive a beautiful cap, a lovely pair of socks and a large bronze medallion designed to be worn with an unbuttoned shirt and tight short pants!

Once again organisation was superb with fine accommodation and outstanding cuisine organised by our manager Chris. The event was a challenge as we all wrestled with our own demons and faced the challenges we set for ourselves competing against previous times.

Rachel gave us a strong start walking us into 6th place. James took over and despite feeling out of sorts, he, like Rachel, ran a faster time than had been done before. The next two walking legs were completed by Bruce and Stacey and both also set new fastest times. Unfortunately, I was not able to continue the trend and ran a minute slower than the awesome record I set the year before! I did, however, bring up my UpnGo during the race and had a series of dry retches at the end as I reacted to the painkillers I was taking for my broken ribs (I had to get the broken ribs thing in!). Peter and Shane then ran the next two legs strongly (slightly slower than the fast times from last year) but we were now in about 5th place. However, to Bruce's disappointment we had now well and truly dropped the red hotpants team.

Chris stepped up to the mark and like a true captain ran his heart out and almost equalled last year's time. He held on strongly to the fast athlete from 414. Joseph then attacked Kuratau Hill and when he finally got his knees, elbows and ankles going in the right order took us closer to teams in front and set a time faster than last year.

Joseph handed over to the unknown new member, Lisa "I don't like losing", who had an outstanding walk and powered through the field and past the grubby old man to walk us into second place. Captain Fantastic, Jared, then took off on his own personal odyssey and charged down the hill, along the swamp and into Turangi. He was unable to keep out the strong runner from 414, but he hung on strongly to him and had a gutsy slog into the wind. He missed James' record by 2 seconds but had us in a very strong position.

Our racing tuna, Ross, took off after the two racing sardines in front and set a new fastest time pulling away from the teams behind us. At the end of his lap he wished his wife a happy anniversary and Jo took off and held her strong starting pace through to the end. Unfortunately James was in the dunny when she finished which created a little confusion, but after a quick shake he was off.

James put all his demons to rest and ran a fastest time for this leg. He was now a happy chappy again. Joseph then strode up Hatepe Hill and dug deep as he took on his second big climb for the day. Bruce then had his second leg and with the attitude of "let's just do it!" started the charge towards Taupo.

Barry who had been waiting several hours to enter the stage got himself into the zone, donned his flash white cap, and strode out towards the airport. While he did not match Maurie's awesome record on that lap he kept out a fast attacking team from Bush.

Maurie took over the last leg as Jared was well and truly spent and completed the charge to the finish line setting a new leg record.

No-one had anything left in the bank. All had given everything they had. After a fine prizegiving overseen by kaumatua Hemi Crosswell we hit the party and danced the night away.

click here for photos

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well written true story