Classic (adj.) timeless; unforgettable; memorable; lasting
Marathon (n.) lengthy and difficult task; endurance test; epic;
The definitions are factual, the event was fantastic.
Tony Simmons (Mr Classic Marathon) and his team produced another spectacular Classic Marathon. The BOP group consisting of 8 cars were predominantly novices with only the Jacks and St Ewart Gradon having participated in previous years. We are generally an enthusiastic lot and on Tonys assurance that it was a fun event with every effort made to ensure nobody gets lots we were keen starters so keen in fact that most of us headed for Hamilton on Friday night ready for the big day on Saturday.
Registration went smoothly enough followed by the pre-departure briefing where instructions were given on how to read the instructions and the team of plotters and planners were introduced before they headed out onto the course to make sure our weekend ran smoothly. The hasty return of Rob Ellis to inform us that a roundabout had been mysteriously constructed in the two weeks since the final route check confirmed that indeed every effort was being made to ensure nobody gets lost.
On inspection the Route Book revealed Sections and Sub-sections with a mixture of written instructions, tulip diagrams, the option of sealed or metal roads and time keeping was an added dimension available to the competitive participants. You would expect, with such clear and concise instructions, to reach the plotted destination without too much difficulty but there were many tales to be heard that belied this notion.
During the course of the weekend we passed through a diverse range of countryside travelling along roads both unfamiliar and spectacular, through the lush Waikato and majestic King Country before reaching Taupo for the overnight stop. Dinner at the Lakeside Resort provided an opportunity to not only unwind from the demands of marathoning but also enjoy the conviviality of fellow participants. Don Jamieson proposed a toast to Tony Simmons on the occasion of his 50th birthday which was followed by a resounding Three Cheers for Mr Classic Marathon.
Sunday dawned grey with drizzle but enthusiasm did not appear to be dampened as
the cars headed for the start of the Sunday section which included a further combination of written and tulip diagram instructions and metal and sealed choices.
The roads and areas we passed through were astounding despite the weather with a brief morning tea stop at Ohakuri Dam before being able to relax and enjoy the scenery. A concise instruction that there was approx 15 miles between instructions did allow navigators a brief respite. Lunch at Te Woatu School was a country feast to behold and some participants were reluctant to leave tables still groaning with country fare to brave the somewhat inclement weather that had settled in.
Next stop, via the roundabout route, was Firth Tower, Matamata and the finish. After a quick look around the historic complex we assembled for the formalities. What a great atmosphere; lots a laughs, quite a few tales were told but there was an overall appreciation and admiration for the organisation and execution of a superb weekend with vows to do it all again next time..
To the organising team, thank you. Thank you for the time and effort you put into planning, plotting, checking, organising and the implementation of a truly memorable and splendid Classic Marathon