Most anticipated event on the HuRTS calendar these days and along with the actual presentation its probably the best night of the year. Rushcutters was looking a dream as a massive crowd ventured down for what is perhaps the toughest 8 to 10 minutes workout you'll ever do.
All the big guns were out and bookies favourite Charlie Low was all set to put his bridesmaid tag to bed after his two 2nd places over the years. I'd tagged new recruits Toby, and 'Killa (Mike Killacoat) as likely contenders with old heads Highnam, Birch, Renaud and Jordan all looking for bragging rights to end the year.
Two waves with the first race getting under way with the (supposedly) slower runners getting things started, The Welsh duo (James & Craig) were fast out the blocks with Taffy Jimmy pretty much leading all the way, Loads of banter each time he came in for his beer but the highlight was seeing him finish then proceed to bring the contents of all 4 Pure Blonds back up all over the oval.
Big guns were next up and I'd decided to take a different approach this year, with a slow start and cruise the first lap, Was pretty much the last out the drinks compound (only Renee left) and was miles behind but happy to come in dead on 2 minutes for the first of the 4 leg attempt. Race plan ended up then as I was struggling to even get the 2nd beer into me as the favorites were already coming in for there 3rd slurp. Saw Highnam, Birch and Jordan depart and I wasn't even half way through my beer knowing it was going to be a heavy payout to heap even more misery to my evening. Dreaded the 3rd ale but had the pleasure of seeing the masters Killa, Toby and Charlie demolish the last of the cans before flying out for the final 400m. I barely staggered in for drink #4 as more where having little battles to finish but I did get a lift as I saw Enda venturing out for a 5th lap - obviously unable to hold his beer in for one of the efforts and a penalty was awarded his way. Somehow got the last of the cans inside me much to the amusement of spectators before hitting the final 400m . Came across the line stone motherless last, think my time was around 10.45 but it could have been 10 hours for all I cared by that time.
Loads of people in all sorts of strive, and it was carnage with bits of wood chips all around the oval after many decided to fertilize the grounds. Once people had recovered sufficiently the awards were handed out. Big winners were 'Killa' in first place, with Toby just holding out Charlie Low for 2nd, with Captain Grumpy North Shore Justin taking 4th and "Weetbix Kid' Renaud running an impressive race for 5th. Proud Irish girl Jac 'Corky' O'Connor took out the female division, even beating most of the guys in the process despite her also running a 5th leg (another Irish unable to hold down beers).
Pizza's and more beers were ordered post race as everyone enjoyed a top evening before heading back to our dodgy Irish boozer at Kings Cross - O'Malleys. One of the best evenings then took place as all outstanding bets were settled over about 30 beers. It cost me plenty but damage was limited when I joined forces with Tommy H and bet $100 with Barts at 12/1 who fancied his chances, who thankfully for us couldn't deliver.
As I said without doubt one of the best social event on the HuRTS calender and I think this will continue to get bigger and better each year. Many thanks to everyone who made the effort to run, with special thanks to Jeet, Angus, and Brucie Lambert for judging and its smooth running and to Paulie Hannell who brought the Striders timing system down so we were all able to get official times recorded.
Me, well another pathetic attempt and looks like I've not only lost my 'A Grade' rating, but will struggle to even run in the 2nd tier. I may have to get the likes of Champ, Hoey, Angus, Jeet and Erika Ekland involved and set up a C Grade.
Some photos from the event and evening.