Rickshaw Run Finish Line - The Awards (and massive party)
Rickshaw Run Chief Mr. Matt reports from Shillong:
*This article is not recommended for anyone faint of heart or anti-mischief. It will upset you.*
68 of the 69 teams made it to Shillong – not all of them with their rickshaws in tow mind you, but a great effort nonetheless.
After a long week of organising everything for the glorious arrival of the teams at the finish line a general strike was suddenly announced in Assam, meaning all the roads towards the finish line would be on lockdown just as our teams were due to be passing through. Ah.
A day of unorganising everything was not far behind. We thought our gamble to cancel everything and shift the celebrations to the following day was a wise one. Then teams started pouring in, saying ‘the roads in Assam were lovely today – hardly anything on them’. Bugger. A re-think was had and we came up with a simple and effective solution - we would have two parties.
The First Finish Line Party
The evening began with a feast and beers, plus an impromptu musical performance by some of the teams using our bands' instruments. What they lacked in musical ability was more than made up in effort. After we'd all stuffed ourselves silly it was time to begin the award ceremony.
A plethora of prizes were available for those that had finished with a little extra flair. By this point everyone was in high spirits and the ceremony began to turn into a comedy show.
Stories from the road pour in thick and fast when the teams start arriving and all are taken into consideration. Many people enjoyed numerous breakdowns en-route yet battled on bravely. One team even got ‘lost’ in Goa for a while, then remembered they were on the Rickshaw Run and whacked their rickshaw on a truck and sat in the cab and drove non-stop for four days and four nights to make it in time. But the winners were...
Award for Best Pimping of the Rickshaw
This was won outright and by some margin by the guys from team ‘Great Balls of Fur’, who have now taken part in four adventurists adventures.
Their five furry vehicles turned heads every inch of the way, and still looked in tip-top condition upon arriving at the finish.
The 'Who Needs Three Wheels Anyway' Award
Team ‘Tendulkar Express’ won the ‘who needs three wheels anyway’ award – given for a particularly impressive manoeuvre of belting along the highway only for the front wheel to fall off.
The ‘Spirit of the Run’ Award
This most coveted prize was awarded to the guys from team ‘Two Tykes in a Tuk Tuk’, for sleeping rough every night (despite being in extremely dangerous scenarios), having a shedload of stories and for a general all-round attitude that put other less-hardy folk to shame.
'Most Money Raised for Charity' Award
Katie Alcott, founder of the official Rickshaw Run charity, Frank Water, was there to award ‘2 Posh 2 Push’ the ‘most money raised for charity’ award, after the two ladies managed to brilliantly get together a whopping ￡15,000 so far.
'Golden Monkey' Award
Finally, Jason Kerin from ‘Mad Bad and Dangerous to Tow’ was awarded the coveted golden monkey award for generally being hilarious - fancy dress every day, captaining the football team despite barely being able to walk, entertaining everyone everywhere he went, and generally just being a very nice, very silly man.
Finish Line Party Carnage... and a Small Car Park Fire
To huge cheers and applause the band took to stage and the mayhem descended. Beers began flowing left, right and centre…some moshing began to happen. Suddenly someone was up in the roof, then, before we could stop them there were loads of people up in the roof. People drenched in booze and sweat cavorted around the dancefloor like a pack of possessed animals. As the band did their final few numbers someone put on an iPod and the singing and partying began to crescendo. Finally, after literally begging the sound guys to remain for a few more hours they had to leave and the music (though not the atmosphere) was killed.
(We definitely think we should probably say something about this picture along the lines of 'don't try this at home, or anywhere, because you'll really hurt yourself and look like a right tit when you fall off, luckily this chap sporting the balloon hat and impressive aerial skills didn't)
Suddenly lots of people disappeared. Finally, a little piece and quiet thought, I guessed they’d all gone to bed…
What’s that? There’s a party in the car park? Everyone’s carrying on drinking and listening to music in the rickshaws, there’s a what?
Oh…a fire, next to the rickshaws? A big one? Ah. A quick dash to the car park brought an apocalyptic view of drunken debauchery as people decided to burn their old speakers, rubbish from the rickshaws and old jerry cans. Six feet from the entire fleet of vehicles. Needless to say I had to get the (rather disgruntled, funnily enough) manager to quickly get a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Some slightly less inebriated runners came to their senses and used some of their urine to help with the dousing. Lovely.
I’m just glad the booming party didn’t end with a different sort of boom.
The Second Finish Line Party
Day two…party two…were we really doing this to ourselves?
The last few teams arrived, with just a couple of stragglers still out there on the road. All in all around 50 or so people were there for the second party, dubbed the Rickshaw Survivors Reprobates Party. Oh and what a night it was.
Many of the details cannot be put into words, but it was a night that possibly created some of the largest hangovers I’ve ever witnessed. Seeing that everyone was hanging around the bar rather than gracing the dancing floor with their presence, both Mr Vikash and myself decided to belt out a few numbers with the band. Funnily enough it actually worked, and before we knew what was going on the dancefloor was again heaving with drunken bodies.
Then the second awards ceremony took place – this one even more farcical and hilarious than the first. Subjects ranged from ridiculous to more ridiculous, and included among others:
Award for the ‘Best Injury’
This went to one of the guys from ‘Bharat Express’ who had a huge cast on his leg after a serious fracture, and a lot less skin on his leg than should have been there.
The ‘Me So Horny Award’
For the chap who had removed an air horn from the rickshaw and was wearing it like a sash – making music wherever he went.
The teams then thought it would be hilarious to put me on their shoulders, parade me around and soak me in booze. It was, of course, hilarity to the extreme for nearly all involved. I hastily arranged for a normal bonfire to be arranged as soon as the music was finished so as not to repeat the previous night's antics. Runners staggered around in various states of undress and drunkenness. The look on some of these peoples faces as I ran off into the night for my bed was a look of people who had been thoroughly broken – and were loving every minute. I have no idea what time they were there until, and I doubt many of them do either. A marvellous success in all.
So, now Orchid Lake Resort is nearly empty, and peace and quiet has once again descended, with just a few remnants of evidence and a faint smell of beer in the air to give any hint that we were ever here. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank absolutely everybody who helped out. There are simply too many to name, but you know who you are. Congratulations to everyone who took part. Legends in your own right - all of you.
Time now to run up to town, pay some bills, shake a lot of hands, and utter more than a couple of gentle apologies…until September then.
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