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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/19/17

Thursday, January 19, 2017

TOUGH GUY COMPETITION FROM STAFFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND!! THE MOST ENDURING 1 DAY RACE IN THE WORLD!!!






   Tough Guy claims to be the world's most demanding 1 day survival contest.
   First stages in 1986, the Tough Guy Challenge is held on a 600 acre farm in Perton, Staffordshire, near Wolverhampton, England, and is organized by Billy Wilson.  It has been widely described as "the toughest race in the world", with up to 1/3rd of the starters of the racing failing to finish in a typical year.
   After the 24 stages of this winter event, Wilson still claimed nobody had ever finished all the course according to his extremely demanding rules.  The race, and its summer equivalent, has suffered 2 deaths during its history.
   Taking place at the end of January, often in freezing winter conditions, the Tough Guy race is staged over a course of between 7 and 8 miles.  It consists of  a cross country run followed by an assault course.  The organizers claim that running the course involves risking barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.
   Although the course is adjusted each year, its features have included a 40 foot crawl through flooded underground tunnels, balancing planks across a fire pit, and a 1-2 mile wade through chest deep muddy water.  Marshals dressed as commandos fire machine-gun blanks and let off thunder flashes and smoke bombs over the heads of competitors as they crawl under a 210 foot section of barbed wire.  Until 2000, some runners took part in the event carrying heavy wooden crosses.










   Entry fees range from 80 British pounds to 1000, depending on the sign up date.  Entrants have to be 16 years old or older.  The event regularly attracts fields of up to 6,000 competitors, many from the U.S. and more than 20 countries around the world.
   Before taking part, entrants must sign a "death warrant", which acknowledges the risks and dangers, and which the organizers claim absolves them of any legally liability.  First aid is provided.
   The winner of Tough Guy in 2009 was James Appleton, a 23 year old student from Cambridge University in 1 hour and 18 minutes.
   In 2010, despite especially cold conditions, Paul Jones (1:18:53)  won the race and  5 other men were
 inside 1 hr. 21 min.









Deaths and Injuries

   In 2000, 1 competitor collapsed midway through the race and later died in the hospital, reportedly of a massive heart attack brought on by extreme hypothermia.  According to race records, this was the first fatality in 15 years of the race.
   In 2007 a man in his 30's collapsed and died when taking part in the summer version of the competition, the "Nettle Warrior".
   Other injuries suffered in the event are common.  Local newspaper reports suggested that among the competitors in the 2009 event, one suffered a broken neck, while there were a dozen broken or dislocated bones and 600 runners, including the winner, suffered hypothermia.





 


The Nettle Warrior

   Nettle Warrior is the summer version of Tough Guy, first stages in 1998, and is normally run at the end of July.  Though the course is essentially the same as Tough Guy, there are some differences.  Nettle Warrior involves 2 laps of an area the organizers have called "The killing fields", a log carry and some rafting as part of "The Lake" obstacle.

The Competition Course

   The Race consists of a cross country run, followed by an obstacle course, referred as the "Killing Fields".

  • Country miles-A 6 mile cross country run.
  • Slalom-An up and down slalom, consisting of running up a hill and back down.
  • Ghurkha Grand National-A series of fences, ditches and jumps with cargo nets to scramble under.
  • The Tiger (followed by Sting in the Tail)-A 40 foot A-frame, crossing through hanging electrified cables and another 40 foot A-frame.
  • Scaffold Bridge-This is traditionally the location of a water break.
  • Colditz Walls-Three progressively higher walls-6, 9 and 12 feet high.
  • Behemoth-Four tall platforms with ropes stretching between them.








Battle of the Somme

  • Fiery Holes-A series of muddy water ditches, followed by burning bales of hay.
  • Tire Crawl-Tunnels created from tires.
  • Swamp-Knee deep mud crossing with a vacuum that will suck in the strongest of men.
  • Vietcong Tunnels-Underground tunnels created from concrete pipes.
  • Sky Walk and Paradise Climb-A cargo net which leads out to ropes draped across a pond.
  • Splosh Pool-A recreation of walking the plank.
  • Underwater Tunnel-Three poles to duck under, leading up to the underwater tunnel.
  • Brandenburger Gate-40 foot vertical wall climb.








Deux Chevaux Island

  • Death Plunge-Planks of wood extending out over a lake.
  • Jesus Bridge-A bridge of barrels and planks of wood.
  • Dans Deceiver-A vertical cargo net, followed by a declined cargo net.
  • Dragon Pools-Series of ropes stretched across the pool.
  • Somme Surprise-Barrel rafts tied together to form a bridge.
  • Stalag Escape-20 foot crawl through mud, under barbed wire.
  • Tire Torture-A path of randomly laid tires to stumble across.
Pedestrian Bridge

  • The Anaconda-A series of large concrete pipes.
  • Viagra Falls-A steep muddy hill.








Last Man Standing

   There is also a smaller course for participant of that day's event. It consits of:
  • 45 foot underwater swim.
  • Scottish Thistle Hill roll.
  • Lassoed Legs Lake Lope.
  • Highwire Brandenburg Bootlace Struggle.
  • Highwire TG bootlace Blaney Kiss.
  • Bite electric wire.

BATTLE OF THE ORANGES FESTIVAL AND CARNIVAL FROM IVREA, ITALY!!






   The Battle of the Oranges is a carnival and festival in the Northern Italian city of Ivrea, which includes a tradition of throwing of oranges between organized groups. It is the largest food fight in Italy.

History of the Festival

   The festival's origins are somewhat unclear.  A popular account has it that it commemorates the city's defiance against the city's tyrant, who is either a member of the Ranieri family or a conflation of the 12th century Ranieri di Biandrate and 13th century Marquis William VII of Montferrat.  This tyrant attempted to rape a young commoner (often specified as a miller's daughter) on the eve of her wedding, supposedly exercising the (possibly fictional) droit de segneur.  His plan backfired when the young woman instead decapitated the tyrant, after which the populace stormed and burned the palace.  Each year, a young girl is chosen to play the part of Violetta, the defiant young woman.








 

  Every year the citizens remember their liberation with the Battle of the Oranges where teams of "Aranceri" (orange handlers) on foot throw oranges (representing ancient arrows and stones) against Aranceri riding in carts, representing Arduino's allies.  During the 19th century French occupation of Italy the Carnival of Ivrea was modified to add representatives of the French army who help the miller's wife.  The carnival may have started in the 12th century and also includes a large bonfire.









Celebration
  
   The core celebration is based on a locally famous Battle of the Oranges that involves some thousands of townspeople, divided into nine combat teams,who throw oranges at each other....with considerable violence...during the traditional carnival days: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The carnival ends on the night of "Fat Tuesday" with a solemn funeral.  Traditionally, at the end of the silent march that closes the carnival the "General" says goodbye to everyone with the classical phrase in dialect "arvedse a giobia a 'n bot", translated as "we'll see each other on Thursday at one", referring to the Thursday the carnival will start the next year".









Miller's Daughter

   One of the citizens is elected Mugnaia. The legend has that a miller's daughter (a "Mungnaia") once refused to accept the "right" of the local duke to spend a night with each newly wed woman and chopped his head off.  Today the carriages represent the duke's guard and the orange throwers the revolutionaries.  Spectators are not allowed to throw oranges, but visitors are allowed to enlist in the teams.  if they wear a red hat they are considered part of the revolutionaries and will not have oranges thrown at them.








   Originally beans were thrown, then apples.  Later, in the 19th century, oranges came to represent the duke's chopped off head.  The origin of the tradition to throw oranges is not well understood, particularly as oranges do not grow in the foothills of the Italian Alps and must be imported from Sicily.  In 1994 an estimated 580,000 pounds of oranges were brought to the city, mainly coming from the leftovers of the winter crop in southern Italy.

CAMEL WRESTLING FROM TURKEY!!





   Camel wrestling is a sport in which two male Tulu camels wrestle in response to a female camel in heat being led before them.  It is most common in the Aegean region of Turkey, but is also found in the Marmara and Mediterranean regions of that country.  There are an estimated 1,200 wrestling camels in Turkey, bred specially for the competitions.






Parade

   The day before each Championship is set aside for a parade through the town of Selcuk, with the animals dressed up in all their finery.  Not all of the fighting camels will attend the parade however.  In 2011 around 30 camels were on show on the Saturday, with around 100 taking part in the fighting.  The most beautiful camel in 2011 was "Palavra", a camel with a particularly talented foaming mouth.






Championship

   Held in an ancient stadium at Ephesus, 6 kilometers from the town of Selcuk, on the 3rd Sunday of January, the camel wrestling championships have drawn thousands of spectators annually.  The festival usually highlights wrestling of 120- camels, but in 2001 only 96 were involved.  The event puts together two bull (male) camels with a female camel on heat nearby.  The camels fight it out for the female, leaning on each other to push the other down.  A camel can win a wrestling match in three ways: By making the other camel retreat, scream, or fall.  The owner of a camel may also throw a rope into the field to declare a forfeit if he is concerned for the safety of his animal.  Camels wrestle with other in their same weight class.  Camels have different tricks, and contest organizers match camels with different skills.  Some camels wrestle from the right and some from the left; some trip the other with foot tricks ("cengelci"), and some trap their opponent's head under their chest and then try to sit ("bagei"); some push their rivals to make them retreat ("tekci").  The actual wrestling can be somewhat underwhelming to someone not familiar with the intricacies, although onlookers must often flee from an oncoming camel that is retreating in defeat from his opponent.  In the heat of the tournament, camels spew foamy saliva in their excitement.  Additionally, camels are retromingent animals, and so spectators would be advised to aware not only of flying saliva but of flying urine as well.




One of the bands entertaining the crowds


Atmosphere

   The event is famous for it's electric atmosphere, starting on the Saturday at the parade, and lasting long into the evening.  Gypsy bands roam the center of Selcuk playing Zirna (like a cross between a clarinet and a recorder), Clarinet, and Davul (drum).  The local men drink raki and dance energetically for many hours, only to wake up and head off to the main event early Sunday morning.  You have to be early to get a good ringside seat, with many restaurants set up offering food and drinks to those willing to pay a little extra for the convenience.  If you miss out though, you can join the thousands of spectators lining the hills which surround the ring, cooking barbecues and drinking more of the infamous raki.  The gypsy bands don't miss out on all the action, and will spend the day roaming from group to group searching for tips and adding great tunes for the crowds to dance to.