Buggies, Beer and Bravado
11:05 on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | 4 Comments
Forget the 20/20 World Cup, the British Grand Prix, Wimbledon or Royal Ascot. In terms of sheer competitiveness, the number one event in British Sport this summer took place last Friday – and was not even televised.
Further’s 3rd Birthday Olympics pitted two evenly matched teams against each other in the blazing sun to find Further’s giants of sport.
Held at the very impressive Potters Leisure Resort on the Norfolk coast, the gladiatorial spirit reigned supreme as the competitive genes truly came out of hibernation in a day that saw many Furtherees challenging themselves on activities they’d never attempted before.
The Archery event, was held in the excellent new Shooting Range, (so new, in fact, that we were the first to step inside it as the builders exited Stage Right). Here we witnessed the adept – and the simply inept – with Louisa becoming the first athlete to miss the range completely and take a chunk of the freshly painted wall out with a stray arrow.
Archery Results: Gold: Zak Silver: Joe Bronze: Chris
Next up it was the climbing wall, or rather ‘walls’ of varying difficulty. When we first entered the Climbing Hall and saw the walls, there were resigned looks of ‘no can do’ amongst the vertigo sufferers who shuffled to the back of the queue to take part. But respect where respect is due, everyone stepped up to the plate and surprised themselves with some ‘nothing-short-of-awesome’ displays.
It was thought that Joe from the first group had taken an un-assailable lead with a stunning time of 10.2 from ‘ floor to ceiling’. But rather than simply accept the fact that the first group had a spiderman in their midst, the second group simply went for it – and discovered their own superhero in ‘Monkey Man Mario’ who seemed to fly up the wall in 7.7 seconds. Of the ladies, Annette really excelled on the wall and is rumoured to now be looking at a career (or at least a course) in the discipline!
Climbing Results: Gold: Mario Silver: Mark Bronze: Joe
The third event on the programme was Clay Pigeon shooting – the event that had promised so much for the geeks on the team who spend most of their lives on Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and the like. Boy, they were confident – and their confidence appeared to be paying off as whispers emerged from the first group that a certain SEO Manager just may have ‘dusted’ 9 of his 10 clays.
It was no myth, Mr Gedge had the edge. Until, 14 contestants later, up stepped the experienced, (that means grey and balding) head of Steve, who didn’t waste a clay to record a ‘straight 10’, much to everyone's disbelief, including his own. A special mention must go to Rachel, who recorded a fine 7 clays, demonstrating why she’s the best invoice payment enforcer in the office.
Meanwhile, it would appear that pigeons have an allergy to Fran. Every time she took aim that would either speed up, or slow down just when they saw Fran pull the trigger, managing brilliantly to dodge all the bullets.
Clay Pigeon Results: Gold: Steve Silver: Chris Bronze: (Jt) Pete / Ryan
The piece de resistance came with the buggy racing which took place on the bumpiest, hardest, dustiest track imaginable. These were no ordinary buggies, but ‘thrilling machines’, specially constructed (and very expensive) anti-roll racing quads-cum-carts which could deliver upwards of 50mph – what an adrenaline buzz!!
We all had 8 minutes on the circuit each with the adjudicators timing latter laps for the competition to find the winners. Machismo was rife amongst those who’d always fancied themselves as the Schumacher of the search agencies, the McCrae of all marketing businesses. A stench of testosterone filled the fresh coastal air as, one by one, the gladiators donned their helmets and went into battle.
Would it be the weekend track racer Gedge? One of the office biker boys, Cook or Gass? Could it be Rachel or Lou, the lead-footed soft-top girls? Or then just maybe there was a Black Beauty, a dark horse who would emerge quietly from the shadows and silence the talkers. Indeed, this was the wacky races – sadly without the Ant Hill Mob, but with four Penelope Pitstops!!
As the engines roared and the dust flew, many were trying to gauge just how fast their peers were going, others were doubled in laughter as, amongst others, Pete spins off at the second corner and Mark busts a chain on only his second lap. When the results are later announced by Jane Potter of Potter’s Leisure at the Official Medal Ceremony, reputations are shattered as Zak Dastardly takes the coveted crown.
Buggy Racing Results: Gold: Zak Silver: Rob Bronze: Carl
After the Medal Ceremony, the celebrations began in earnest with a Champagne Toast, fabulous curry dinner and the ceremonial 3rd Birthday cake cutting. Then, after a rogue dance or two in the theatre where a live Irish Band were playing to a packed house, it was back to Norwich to continue the partying until the wee hours. (With a coach stop for a mass roadside wee on the return journey.)
Thanks must go to Jane and the team at Potters for an amazing venue and, most importantly, the exceptional customer service shown throughout the day. From kitchen to climbing wall, everything ran like clockwork and if this is a taste of things to come when their new Corporate Events Centre is launched, then it simply cannot fail.
On this day, we competed, we laughed, we bonded, we challenged ourselves, and we imbibed in no small measure. In the words immortal Lou Reed, this was the 'perfect day’.
Thanks to Rachel for organising it this end!