Marble League Winter Special Event 2: Snowboard Cross

My bad on the delay in publishing this, last weekend was a hectic one and then I just sort of forgot once the work week began. Anyways….

Welcome to event 2 of the Marble League Winter Special! As Greg notes at the start of the race, this event was scheduled to premiere last month (hence the 2020 signage) but was delayed. And to refresh your memories from the last Winter Marble League, the Limers previously won this event which is easiest won if you can go straight down the middle and avoid too many bumps against walls and the sides of the course but what’s a marble race without some bumping around?

The first run of this event sees representatives of Team Galactic, the Raspberry Racers, Midnight Wisps and Balls of Chaos take on this track. Astron and Wespy jump out ahead quickly with Astron building a solid lead in the first half. Wespy gains quickly on them though to make the back half an exciting finish, Razzy inserts themselves into discussion even quicker though! Astron and Team Galactic take this, Razzy gets second place by a tenth of a second over Wespy with Tumult a distant fourth.

Group B consists of the Hazers, Chocolatiers, Minty Maniacs and Oceanics. Hazy starts strong only to slam into a wall and watch Aqua, Minty Fresh and Bonbon pass them by. For a few seconds it looks good for Aqua with Minty Fresh nipping at their heels but Hazy recovers with great speed to push Aqua in the final part of the course. Aqua takes first by a half second over Hazy. Minty Fresh tumbles from second to fourth, them and Bonbon both close to 2 seconds out of first.

The next group is Bolt (Thunderbolts), Red Eye (Crazy Cat’s Eyes), Kinnowin (O’Rangers) and Mo (Team Momo). Every marble takes the lead in this heat at one moment or another, with the back half being a nail-biter between Kinnowin and Bolt. Its a photo finish at the end, Kinnowin takes the heat by 0.01 seconds over Bolt. And with Red Eye failing to advance the Crazy Cat’s Eyes will be denied placement in this event after taking gold in the Ice Dash.

The next grouping is Pinky Rosa (Pinkies), Snowstorm (Snowballs), Whizzy (Savage Speeders), and Mallard (Green Ducks). Its Mallard starting strong here. They take the lead and never really look back, going just about start to finish in the most dominant heat thus far. Whizzy gets second place, Pinky Rosa does come close to overtaking them at the end but just didn’t have enough time and space to get it done.

The first semifinal sees Astron, Whizzy, Hazy and Kinnowin racing. Hazy starts off strong, avoiding the sides and using a burst of speed out of the gate to build their lead. But Astron doesn’t let them out of their sights and gains quickly. Whizzy is dancing around the second place spot but just can’t get the momentum to push a little further ahead. Hazy will take this semi, with Astron just a few tenths of a second behind. In Semifinal B; Mallard, Aqua, Bolt and Razzy are ready to go. Its another intense heat. Aqua, Bolt and Razzy are the initial ones duking it out. Mallard puts in a charge and looks like they could advance but their momentum is halted by a hard slam into one of those center obstacles. Aqua will take this by two hundredths of a second over Bolt as for the second time in this event we go to the photo finish.

Now the finals. Aqua, Hazy, Bolt and Astron are lined up. Aqua and Bolt pick up right where they left off in the semifinals, virtually speeding down the course side by side and leaving Hazy and Astron to play catch-up. Both of them do, each briefly moving into the lead but once again, we have a photo finish between Aqua and Bolt. And the gold goes to……….the Oceanics! In the closest finish of the day Aqua is awarded the gold by five thousandths of a second. The Thunderbolts will settle for a hard fought second place medal while the Hazers are your bronze winners.

Stray Thoughts
– Will this be the start of a new rivalry between blue color based teams? Consecutive photo finishes are…wow.
– CCE got gold in the first event and finishes in last here but over a half second in the first round of heats. Ouch. Though maybe the Snowballs ought to feel worse? These are the winter games after all!
– Oceanics finished 15th the last time they participated in this event.
– With a silver in the first event and a bronze here the Hazers now have the overall first place standing in the Winter events with the Oceanics and CCE in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Thunderbolts jumped ten spots to 6th place.
– This coming weekend, Speed Skating!