MarbleLympics 2019: Event #9 – Hurdles Race

We’re back with more exciting MarbleLympics coverage! This time, the marbles are facing hurdles. No, don’t worry, they don’t have to jump or anything; they just have to push a series pendulums out of the way. These are metaphorical “hurdles” that also happen to be physical objects. So I guess they’re also physical hurdles, though physically they’re not hurdles because the marbles don’t jump over them; they’re only hurdles metaphorically speaking… You know what? This is starting to get away from me. Let’s dive in to the meat and potatoes of this business.1

The most important thing to keep in mind while participating in this event is to keep runs clean. Lateral movement is wasted energy; forward momentum is what matters. In contrast to the 5-meter sprint, it’s not just the launch that’s important; how the marbles collide with the hurdles also has an effect. One errant hit can send a marble zigzagging back and forth across the track.

The heats are unusually exciting this time around. In the second heat, the Oceanics look like they’re finally going to make something happen with a promising start, but then they fumble spectacularly and finish in a distant fourth. Mellow Yellow gets second place in the third heat but nearly squanders it with lateral movement. And in the fourth and final heat, the O’rangers set a new MarbleLympics record!

Unfortunately, that record doesn’t last long. In the first semi final, the Midnight Wisps obliterate the record the O’rangers set moments ago. And in the second semi final, the Hazers look like their performance won’t carry them to the final, but they manage to eke out a photo-finish second place against the Chocolatiers.

Then, it’s time for the final. It appears as if the Raspberry Racers have cinched victory, but all of a sudden, the last-place Midnight Wisps get a burst of speed. The audience thought they were running out of energy, but those nocturnal clouds don’t seem to one-half-m-v-care; they hurtle2 into first place, nabbing gold. The Raspberry Racers and the Hazers nab silver and bronze, respectively.

Stray thoughts:

  • At this point, the Pinkies’ performance has veered from tragedy into farce: last in this event, and last in the overall standings. Even the Oceanics are besting them.
  • Zounds! A streaker!
  • The hurdles are just swinging straight orange K’Nex pieces; I used many of those as a child. (Also, “swinging straight”? I need to work on my phrasing.)
  • In order to feed my marble racing addiction, I started watching some other marble racing channels on YouTube. I was able to derive some enjoyment from M&H Racing, but man, it’s just not the same, y’know?

Next up: the twisty, misty, oh-so-shifty maze!