MarbleLympics 2019: Event #4 – Gravitrax Slalom

My apologies for getting this up a day late. Our marbles have no time to waste in this event, yet another race. But this time around, there’s a twist: it’s a team race! Teamwork is required to get three of the team’s four marbles across the finish line as quickly as possible. Having a single fast leader is no good if the other three marbles on the team are laggards.

There are a couple of viable strategies here. The most obvious is to keep all four marbles in tight formation but avoid collisions. That ensures no stragglers, but it’s a bit conservative, and it’s most likely to be successful against slow, unskilled competitors. The second most salient strategy is to let the first two marbles go on ahead while the last two hang back. Then, in the last few seconds, let the fourth marble collide with the third to give the third a big push. Thus, the fourth marble acts as a sacrificial lamb, giving up individual MarbleLympics glory for team success.

The heats and semi-finals produced a few memorable races, with most competitors (the O’Rangers and the Pinkies aside) putting up respectable performances. One semi-final in particular resulted in a photo finish, with Green Ducks beating out their similarly verdant competitors, the Jungle Jumpers, by 0.02 seconds. Unfortunately, the Green Ducks couldn’t replicate that success in the finals, and they failed to finish on the podium.

But it wasn’t all bad news: the Jungle Jumpers and Raspberry Racers took bronze and silver, respectively, and the Crazy Cat’s Eyes won a decisive gold, all the sweeter after having their new world record broken twice in the previous event. Congrats to all who competed! We’ll see you next time for the 5 Meter Sprint.

Stray thoughts:

  • How are the O’Rangers doing so poorly? Is it just nerves? Or perhaps they have injuries that have compromised their smooth texture.
  • The Pinkies did so poorly in their heat that their first marble finished behind every other team’s fourth marble. They’re currently dead last in the MarbleLympics standings.
  • It doesn’t matter if it’s a land event or a sea event: the Oceanics still suck.
  • I expect better from the Savage Speeders and the Thunderbolts, both of whom normally perform well at speed-based events. The Savage Speeders’ two back-to-back golds at the start of the tournament will probably keep them at the top of the rankings for a while, though.
  • I found the poo:

Poop Emoji Marble

Complete stats for the 2019 MarbleLympics can be found at the MarbleLympics Wiki.