Things here in Shillong have been completely hectic and immense. The 82 teams that started from Jaisalmer have been pouring in over the last couple of days in a flurry of excitement and exhaustion. This Run had a veritable shitload of stories. It's almost like the teams were taking delight in introducing their vehicles to trucks at speed or by seeing how their faces would work in place of their brakes. Still, nobody got seriously injured, so no lasting damage done.
The finishing celebrations went swimmingly. We had a fantastic football match against the gents from Royal Wahingdoh – luckily not the first team as they're currently one of the best in the country. We played the more experienced team – some could call them the oldies. It was a match like no other here in Shillong, and we scored an unsurpassed 8 goals. Manically impressive stuff. It would of course have been more impressive if we hadn't conceded 12 goals, but still, it was a great match and our motley crew of misfits did us proud.
We then had to shepherd said motley crew into buses for their finish party. Many of them may have had some help by us in lubricating their cogs with some ferociously cheap rum, just what you need for the windy mountain roads. Once at the party the thirst for rum and fun continued, and the banquet began as the band entertained with some good old country and western numbers – complete with cowboy hats. It was then time for the awards ceremony, where those who finished with some extra style were honoured accordingly. Awards went to:
Best Dressed – John from team 'Clampits of the Revolution' for his nod to Vivian from The Young Ones – complete with forehead studs.
Best Tale From the Road – 'Tuk Fast Tuk Furious' and 'Naan Stop Adventure' for accidentally stealing another team's parade of glory when they were mistook for them by a charity they'd supported.
Best Manoeuvre – Cathy from team 'Catan' received this for getting walloped by a truck, sliding across the road with the weight of a rickshaw on her face, and turning up smiling – trooper.
Spirit of the Run – The guys from 'Yabba Grabba Curry' had an absolute howler of a Run – 5 pistons, 3 trucks and 1 lengthy tow. Still, they took it all with a smile.
Best Pimp – The charming gents from 'Carry on up the Ganges' took this one for their beautiful furrified rickshaw. They completed the ensemble with safari suits, pith helmets and pipes.
Lifetime Achievement – Jacob from team 'Pacemaker' just finished his 4th Rickshaw Run. He unfortunately couldn't be there in person though as he had the runs. Oh sweet irony.
Best Facial Hair – Always a fun one this as the audience votes...this time won by Tim from team 'The Grand Vagabonders' for a fine bushy growth.
Cool Earth Charity Award – Team 'Tuk Tha Police' raised an awfully impressive £2388.15 towards saving some of the most endangered rainforest on the planet. Spiffing effort folks.
There were also a couple of birthdays, so we dragged up Neil and Ulf from 'The Brothers Brown' and 'Karma Run' respectively, had a sing song and sent them on their merry way with a jug of rum each.
The DJ then kicked off, and the party went up a notch or twelve. Things started to get messy. They also started to get very colourful – it seems someone had brought 4kgs of powder paint to celebrate with as they missed Holi – the festival of colour. Before you knew it the stuff was everywhere. The dancefloor became a swamp of blood red, and looked like something from a Tarantino movie. People threw themselves around, one guy was even getting dragged through it by his teammates. As the bar stock rapidly diminished, so did the behavior. Clothes were torn, shots were consumed, someone fell onto a table, and someone else decided to wear a tablecloth as a cloak. It descended into a wonderful riot of noise, colour, sweat and laughter. There will be some sore heads after that.
There are now just 6 more teams to arrive, let's hope they're having as much fun as the rest of their peers have had up here.
So that's about that. It's been a fabulous event, and the misfits were a lovely bunch. I'm pretty sure driving at home will seem a tad staid after all this malarky.