The surface was immaculate, the sun was beating down and competitive spirits were high as the ‘athletes’ (I’m going to keep doing that until I stop laughing when I say it out loud) finally made their way into the arena – after a fifteen minute hoo-ha with the wrong keys to the garden gates. In time honoured Olympic style, the course was still being laid out so that gave the athletes time for a rigorous warm up, lead by Kirsten, and a quick game of stick-in-the-mud.
Fortunately, despite the collective age, no injuries were picked up at this early stage so first up we were straight into a true test of individual speed, grit, coordination and trying not looking like a total tit…the sack race.
We’d had some fine sized prickly sacks for the event but still the trepidation was palpable. Hessian-burns were a real possibility!
From the off there were a wide variety of personal styles on show but in the end Stevie ‘’Tigger’ Jeffries took the spoils. There were immediate shouts for a re-run through due to some skulduggery on the start line by Tony Haughey but the officials missed it and frankly, nobody could really be arsed anyway. The replay below clearly shows Jamie Ker being impeded though so sanctions may be dished out for next years event.
The sound of steel clashing against steel, shouts of ‘are you sure those are still in date’, could only mean one thing…the egg and spoon race was next.
Poise, grace and concentration were none of the attributes on show as the athletes set off down the course. Dan raced into an early lead before his egg dropped like a tiny salmonella bomb, allowing Sara McNaull, arm illegally swishing the air beside her (no one noticed since they were too busy wondering where the hell the spoons came from since there never seems to be any in the kitchen), to take the race.
The cornerstone of any good agency is teamwork and this three-legged race definitely threatened to stretch the definition to breaking point. This was a close run affair…for the first five yards before Ed Vickers and Dan Haythorne proved that when two 6ft+ guys work together in perfect harmony, it’s a thing of majesty as they powered into the lead and never looked back. A special mention has to go to Howie and Stevie J (second from back) though for unleashing their soon-to-be trademarked ‘leaping salmon’ technique. We’ve slowed the video below down so you, the reader, can enjoy it in its full glory and perhaps share this marvellous technique with your own children for their sports day. You’re welcome.
With three events down it was time to head over to the Gun Show for the tug-of-war. For some, this meant brutal flashbacks of being picked last for either team but luckily I got distracted and didn’t see who the weak antelope was. We’ll call the groups Team Kirsten and Team Sara (for the lack of any wordsmithing creativity from me!).
The steel and determination was evident on both teams’ faces as they squared up. I’m sure some felt they had a point to prove after the first three events and there were a lot of serious faces as they took the strain for the first round of this best-of-three contest.
Both teams stoically held their ground for the opening few seconds until Team Sara’s decision to go with traditional tug of war wisdom and have the strongest man (and the one with the tightest t-shirt) at the back began to pay dividends. Howies ‘hard jerk and tug’ technique, no doubt perfected with years of constant practise, really turned the tide of this encounter and a swift end was nigh from that moment on.
‘Humility in Victory’ as their mantra, Sara, leading her team by example, was quick to acknowledge the herculean effort shown by their opposite combatants
Round two took a similar path with moments of deadlock to begin with before utter capitulation and cries of ‘you guys were going downhill’ from Team Kirsten. Not ones to have their dominance questioned, Team Sara gallantly offered to swap sides for a third go-around and make it a first-to-three…whereupon they once again kicked ass, proving that a 1% gradient hill can never outdo raw power and teamwork.
Everyone was mentally and physically spent by now when Kirsten, no doubt still smarting from her teams 3 and 0 whitewash in the tug of war, suggested one final event. The killer. The breaker of men. The wheelbarrow race!
Everyone partnered up and down they went, ready for the start. Everyone wanting to prove they could take whatever was thrown at them. There was a brief moment of confusion over the best position to start, legs already up or on their knees but after swift clarification from the officials, the whistle went and they were off!
Ed and Jamie didn’t get the best of starts and Howie and Stevie J, renewing their three-legged race partnership, took an early lead but in a moment that can only compare to Lewis Hamilton getting off the start line in the wrong engine mode, they faltered momentarily, allowing Ed and Jamie to power through to take the victory. At first it looked like strength and limb length were the deciding factor but in an interview afterwards, both confirmed they were both starving and wanted to ‘get this over to get back and have my lunch’.
Powerful words indeed…
That brought proceedings to a close for this, the first ever Teviot Sports Day with the final results as follows:
Sack Race, winner: Steven Jeffries
Egg and Spoon Race , winner: Sara McNaull
Three legged Race, winners: Ed Vickers and Dan Haythorne
Wheelbarrow Race, winners: Ed Vickers and Jamie Ker
Special mention must also go to the gathered throng of hyped and noisy spectators who, in between eating their lunch, really spurred their colleagues on to greater and greater heights.
The inaugural Teviot Sports Day was a huge success that practically guarantees it a regular spot on the SoTeviot social calendar. Not least because we’ve no real other use for a 30-foot rope and some tattie sacks.
Remember kids, there are no winners and losers in this crazy game we call life, it’s the taking part that counts!
Until next year…
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