Humans don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Marbles, on the other hand, love sand. Their smooth surfaces make it hard for grains to stick to them, so they can glide across the dunes like small, spherical hovercrafts. Thus, the Sand Marble Rally has become a favourite event of marble racing aficionados worldwide.
Mud, however, is a different story. The goopy mixture of sand, water, and humus1 can frustrate even the slickest of marbles. For that reason, the Dirt Race sees many of our competitors unable to even finish the course. Smooth sailing, this is not; this is an all-out brawl. And just like in the much-maligned Super Smash Bros. game of the same name, marbles are constantly getting tripped up.
Only 9 of the competitors actually manage to even finish the course in the heats. In the second heat, the Chocolatiers come to a dead stop inches from the finish line, which is just devastating to watch. The cruelty of this event cannot be overstated.
Nonetheless, as cruel as this event can be, it can also be thrilling. The finals display constant jockeying for the podium, with one marble getting stuck and then unstuck when a competitor collides with the stick that was blocking it. There’s even a photo finish with the Raspberry Racers eking out the bronze over the Savage Speeders by a 5 hundredths of a second.2 The Green Ducks take the silver, and the formerly last-place Pinkies catapult to superstardom with a well-earned gold.
- Most of the DNFs came from marbles careening wildly off the course. Losing momentum due to friction was a less common outcome.
- The Raspberry Racers haven’t won a single gold yet. However, they sit atop the standings. Silvers and bronzes count, folks.
- Meanwhile, the Balls of Chaos, Indigo Stars, and Oceanics each have zero medals. They just can’t get anything going, it seems.
- I hope our competitors get a nice, long shower after this event.
That’s it for now! Next up, Rafting.3
Complete stats for the 2019 MarbleLympics can be found at the MarbleLympics Wiki.