I think the youngsters say 'wowzas', which apparently means: 'yes, that was rather good'. The April 2014 Rickshaw Run has come to a glorious and predictably messy close.
The April Run is the hardest Rickshaw Run, it's as simple as that. It's long, hot and dirty. This was achingly apparent as the teams rolled over the finish line here in Shillong.
Underneath the layers of grime they had a glint of madness in their eyes, which I quite liked. Cold beers were soon demolished as the tales from the road came pouring in.
One story I particularly liked was concerning (as many stories in India are) poo. One poor chap had gone behind a bush for a call of nature (he had the shits) in a dodgy area. Just as he'd pulled down the trousers which were so cruelly blocking his path to enlightenment he was surrounded by seven heavily armed policemen. One even had a grenade launcher – pointed at his head. Funnily enough, he was no longer able to go. Anyway, it was all resolved over chai, and they all laughed about it in the end. He then shat himself in the rickshaw upon leaving (actually I made that last bit up but hope he did).
As seems to be customary we lost the football match. Getting walloped 3-0 by the local Press Club team. There was blood, sweat and tears out there on the dusty pitch. Sweat especially. Still, fun was had by all. Especially the onlookers who were having a good laugh at our expense.
Soon after the match cometh the party. The Rickshaw Run certainly brings about its own kind of chaos. Much of it seemingly beautifully senseless in every possible way. Teams started arriving in various states and outfits. Many had only just pulled up. The band started, and soon followed the dancing. If you can call it that. It was, um, interesting anyway. Some people had so much fun they decided to pass out which I thought was rather novel. Blame it on the tiredness son.
After everyone had tucked into the banquet of foodstuffs it was time for the awards ceremony.
'A Rick Called Astley' won the award for most money raised. They deserved an award anyway for handing out seemingly endless Rick Astley themed t-shirts and singing 'Never Gonna Give You Up' almost continuously. Sorry, did I say an award? I meant lynching.
'Bums of Anarchy' picked up the 'spirit of the Run' award for generally being bloody mental.
The 'give that man a drink' awards were given to Jon from 'For Tuks Sake III' for treating loads of people to beers and showing them how to treat their rickshaws, and to Rich from 'Altered Beast' who fixed any buggered rickshaws en-route. Legends.
The award for best pimping went to Christopher from 'World Hippie'. He's not really a hippie, he's in insurance, but whatever. The fact that he rigged up an amp in his rickshaw so as to plug in his guitar and perform to the local kids seemed pretty innovative.
After the awards came the encore from the band. Belting out some big numbers with the help (?) of yours truly on stage. Seriously, I definitely lifted the performance (at least I thought I did and that's all that matters).
Once all had been wrapped up it was time for the after-party for those who hadn't had enough (nearly everyone). We all trundled off into the night to a local nightclub. It was in the basement of a shopping centre and by the time I got there (herding cats en-route) it was a heaving mass of testosterone, beer and enthusiasm with a faint whiff of engine oil and petrol on the side. We partied hard. Some too much.
Come the end I was mopping up the dregs and attempting to get them home, eventually I gave up and ran away home myself. Judging by the state of some of the zombies wandering around Shillong today I think most people had an awful lot of fun.
A great group, some great stories (none of them too horrific), some serious mileage and a whole lot of adventure. Just how it bloody well should be.
Well done all...until next time...
The Next Run is in August which starts in Shillong and ends in Cochin. We've made this one slightly longer so it begins August 3rd and ends 21st August.
You can sign up for the August Run here.