I wish that I could say that we had tons of struggles and breakdowns to overcome along the way but we really didn’t. We finished strong each and every day. We played nice, as did everyone of the happy-go-lucky, free spirited teams involved in the Classic Run, and we completed a great eight days on the bumpy, dusty, winding, goat/dog/cow/water buffalo filled roads of Tamil Nadu.
All 15 teams convoyed out of the beachfront hotel at Kanyakumari for an 80 KM drive to Trivandrum. About 15 KM down the road, we hit a major traffic jam as thousands of people coming by bus, motorbike, car, foot, and every other mode of transport amassed for temple. After navigating through that brief delay, Team Tuk and Roll sort of leapfrogged with teams: The Big Gulab Jamun, and The Double Chennais I and II.
If any of you ladies out there want to unleash your inner Thelma and Louise talk to the Aussie gals that made up The Double Chennais. I won’t get myself in too much trouble by guessing their age but in the conversations that I had with them they were not too shy about sagging body parts, the years piling up, and the need to live life in the now. The five ladies from Perth who made up these teams are part of a book club who got a wild hair one night, busted out some bubbly, made an oath/toast, and went to India to rally in autorickshaw. You couldn’t miss them driving down the road in their pink boas. They were really fun to share the road and a beer or two with and added an extra layer of fun for everyone.
We crossed the state border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala about 20 KM from the finish line and then coasted the rest of the way. It took about an hour and a half for a couple of stragglers to cross the line as bad directions and a faulty engine slowed them down. After a brief party, it was time for the award ceremony.
Winning the Bonkers Prize for being the biggest goof balls all week were the guys of Team Fat Boy Slim: Barry and Simon two really hilarious guys from the UK and Ireland.
First place which was tabulated on the team scoring the most points by completing challenges along the way was the Gulab Jamun guys from Boston: Tim, TIm, and Dave.
And, winning the prize for making the biggest charitable donation, none other than the boys of To Tuk and Roll (me and Udayan) and Tuk and Roll Too (Bose, Jeremy).
This was a great adventure, one that has been in the planning for two and a half years, and a once in a lifetime thing that the four of us will always remember. India is a perplexing place. Soiled yet pure, these are some of the words that came to mind in our trek:
bobbles jumbled wild civilized polluted fragrant congested cooperative organized chaos polite gods for all purposes curious hawkers brown baffling menial connected humid languid bustling beautiful smiling unassuming chai photogenic bovine bursting Kolavari cricket rupees rickshaws temples resourceful yes men curious bountiful impoverished
I’m sure I’ll come back here one day but the possibility that the next trip will measure up to this one does not exist.
Tuk and Roll has left the sub continent.