So here are the antics hinted about in previous post:
Genesis: Nephew Micah (see photo in former post) was in serious discussion with his then-roommate as to which of them was The Best. With sketchy criteria, each commenced to list personal achievements.
Micah had just completed his MA. This after his two years teaching English in Madagascar through The US Peace Corps. He’s tall, he’s adorable, he’s personable and he leaves no known scandals in the wake of his 29 years.
The roommate, who I assume is a nice guy, is also a model so I also guess he’s not too hard on the eyes. He is a professional photographer who had just published and sold his first book of his work.
Late into the night they debated. And with that flash of genius that overtakes the fatigued, they lit upon an idea: Let’s hold a competition to determine The Best. It would be a contest for Gentlemen. It would feature events unique to the needs that a Gentleman might require. It would be held near Winona Lake, the location of a great many competitions (sailboats, bikes, running, and etc.)
So the Spectathalon was birthed in the summer of 2009. There were 7 competitors.
8/7/10: The Second Annual Spectathalon, commencing at 12 noon at the “LeMaterster Estate.” The promotional brochure, created by Caleb LeMasters (see photo in former post), boasts that this competition of ‘Honor and Wit” will earn the winner “An Engraved Knife.”
This year, more gentlemen showed up. (And no free T shirts, even)
What follows is a list of events, with explanation.
One event was omitted, requiring the gentleman to ‘escort a lady through an obstacle course while making polite conversation.’ They said they feared for the safety of the lady. What gentlemen!
1. FIRE STARTING – Each aspirant will be provided with exactly two matches and will be permitted the use of a single knife in this event. The aspirant will have 2 minutes to gather materials from the forest with which to build and ignite a fire. The winner shall be the person who builds the most robust and handsome fire. This does not presupposed that the biggest fire will automatically be the winner. The winning fire should be orderly, contained, and promise longevity. The winning fire will be transported to the cooking pit and used to cook the stew.
2. TRUE NORTH – An event created to test the inherent ability of the aspirant’s ability to tread true without the use of sight. Each aspirant will walk a course of 100 paces and place a flag or marker of his choosing. The aspirant will then return to his original point of departure and will try to retrace his original course while blindfolded. The aspirant closest to his original banner will be the victor.
3. HOLE DIGGING – The aspirant will be permitted 10 minutes, using a shovel of his choosing, to dig the best hole. The victor shall be decided by his fellow aspirants by a simple majority vote.
4. BAREFOOT RACE – The aspirant will run one lap around the island without the aid of footwear. The race is against the clock and each runner shall run only against himself.
5. 22 CALIBER TIN CAN SHOOT – Each aspirant will be permitted 10 bullets with which to shoot ten tin cans from a distance of 100 paces. Each aspirant shall use the same rifle. A tie will be decided by a shoot out.
6. RECITATION WHILE TREADING WATER – Each aspirant will bring with him a pre-selected piece of literature (prose or poetry) and will recite his chosen work while treading water. To quality for competition, the aspirant must tread water for no fewer than three minutes. The qualified aspirants will then be collectedly judged based upon their choice of work and the quality of the recitation. If no aspirant makes the three-minute requirement, the event will be a wash. Nephew Isaac took this prize. (see photo in previous post.)
(This is Aunt Lynne's favorite event)
7. WILD FLOWER ARRANGING – Each aspirant will be permitted 15 minutes to gather and subsequently arrange a collection of wildflowers. The arrangements will be judged by the eldest woman willing to make a decision. (And that would be my sister-in-law who is never at a loss)
8. WOOD CHOPPING – Each aspirant will select five pieces of wood from a pre-determined lot of fire wood. After choosing his pieces, he will be required to spit each piece of wood. This contest will be timed and the aspirant able to spit the five pieces in the last among of time will be the winner. Each aspirant will use the same axe.
9. WHEELBARROW RACE – The aspirants will be required to load a wheelbarrow with a pre-selected pile of field stones and then run the wheelbarrow through the woods from the small cabin to the forest entrance. The person completed the course in the least amount of time will be the winner.
10. STEW COOKING – The final event (running throughout the day) will be a cook off. Each aspirant will be asked to bring two ingredients to add to a pot of stew meat that will be slow cooking over an open fire. The aspirant who bring the two best ingredients (the decision will be collectively made) shall by the winner.
*GENERAL RULES OF CONTACT – Being as many of the events are judged by the competitors, it should be understood that voting for oneself in any event is simply bad form. Once a person begins competing, he is expected to complete all events; sitting out an event because one is not interested in it or feels that he is not capable of winning, is simply bad form. A general atmosphere of gentlemanly competition and comradely is to be expected. Jeopardizing said atmosphere is simply bad form.
Although LeMaster men dominated, there were 10 other aspirants.
You missed it this year. Tune in in 2011.