Marble League 2020 E14 Team Aquathlon

The aquathlon is a hybrid event consisting of a regular sprint followed by an aquatic race. The twist is that all four marbles from each team race at once, with the third-place marble marking a team’s completion of the race. Cooperation between teammates is crucial if a team wants to succeed. There’s also an element of strategy: does a team put its fastest marbles out in front so they can race unimpeded to the finish line, or does it put its fastest marbles in the rear to give its slower marbles an extra push? Let’s see what our temerarious teams do.

The round of 16 has some close match-ups. The Green Ducks beat the Balls of Chaos by only 18 hundredths of a second. The Bumblebees and the Crazy Cat’s Eyes have an even closer race, with the former winning by 6 hundredths of a second. The same goes for Team Momo and Team Galactic, with the former eking out a close victory. But the most exciting race is the Oceanics vs. the O’rangers: the Oceanics finally overcome their ironic aquatic curse and beat the Tangy Tricksters by a hair — just four hundredths of a second!

The quarterfinals see at least one interesting race: the Raspberry Racers and the Hazers trade the lead back and forth, but the Hazers win it by 0.09 seconds. In a later race, the Midnight Wisps face off against the Oceanics, and unfortunately, the latter’s Cinderella story was not to be: the Wisps take it by 0.15 seconds.

In the semis, the Savage Speeders score an authoritative victory over Team Momo, getting all four of their marbles over the line before a single Team Momo racer. Meanwhile, the Hazers and Midnight Wisps pursue a bunched formation strategy, but it works out better for the Wisps, who move on to the finals.

The 3rd place match is yet another massive loss for Team Momo, as the Hazers take the bronze. But all eyes are on the final, with the resurgent Midnight Wisps squaring off1 against the consistent Savage Speeders. The Midnight Wisps are quicker out of the gate, but the Savage Speeders catch up. However, a fantastic entry by the Wisps puts them out ahead. The Savage Speeders catch up again, putting a lot of pressure on the Wisps, but the Wisps hold on by a single hundredth of a second to score a gold medal, leaving the Speeders with the silver.

Stray thoughts:

  • The reflections of the marbles in the water make this a very visually confusing event. It looks like there are eight marbles racing!
  • I’ll admit that I let out an audible cheer when the O’rangers got knocked out in the first round, by the resurgent Oceanics no less.
  • Some real dirty tactics by Team Momo in their quarterfinal race against the Bumblebees. That entry into the water had to have been an illegal tackle. The refs are asleep at the wheel again!
  • Only the top 4 teams can actually win the Marble League now. Damn the O’rangers and their nigh-insurmountable lead!

Stay tuned for the ever-popular collision event on Thursday!

Complete stats for Marble League 2020 can be found at the Jelle’s Marble Runs Wiki.