It was a dark and stormy night and the Captain said to Antonio, "Antonio, tell us a story", and so Antonio began.
Once upon a time in a land far from here, at least 1000 leagues beyond yonder horizon, there is a place where houses rise far above the seas and the young folk learn of mathematics, science, history, and many a brain learnin' topic. In this special place there exists a group of people, a mishmash of sorts ranging from midgets with flippers to giants with arms long enough to lift a grown man twelve feet into the air. There are people who have so many names that no one can keep track as well as people who are spastic to the core. There is even a creature who creates storms just by going for a jog and one who can crush solid steel with her hip. Then there are the leaders, majestic creatures to say the least. One leader is so generally good looking that he literally can't keep women off him. Another has a flock of hair so beautiful that angels sing when he walks into a room. A third, the wife of the giant, hopes to procure leadership of the group, but will have to dethrone the good looking one first. There are even creatures who's purpose is to count coins and disperse payment when it is due. These are but a few samples of the creatures in this group, the rest have each their own merits but those will have to be saved for another tale.
Now this group, nay, this band of brothers and sisters, has a special function. Their task is to compete with one another and with people outside of this band in not one, not two, but three unique activities. On the all and all they make them selves out to be some sort of amphibious creatures, but without scales, tails, or gills. First, they slash through the oceans, not to survive as if from a wreck, but for pure pleasure. They beat their way through waves as tall as this ship, seaweed that could suffocate a sea urchin, and opponents that grab and claw at them for leagues on end. Whence they emerge from the sea they clamber onto two wheel machines that propel them at speeds faster than the fastest ship on the sea. As their two wheeled machines finish their function these beings jump off and run like the wind. Each creatures has their own speciality in these three activities, but all are fierce competitors.
Each year this band gathers for competition between themselves, again, not for any particular function, but rather for pain, pleasure, and the hopes of victory. This competition makes shine the best of the group and can highlight each individual's talent. This tale is about one of the purest of said events, a race where power, speed, and strategy play equal parts. This race is known as "The Mile". These magical creatures gather to race around a fixed distance four times which equates to but a fraction of a league. One year when this race took place it had some of the toughest conditions on record. There were winds that could capsize even the sturdiest of ships and rain that would floods its decks and holds. Imagine, if you will, a night were mere mortals wouldn't even dream of setting foot outside of their cabins, these individuals emerge to race.
Now, it should be mentioned that not all of these magical creatures were present on that fateful night. Some chose to stay inside, while some chose to act cowardly and do this race at an easier time. These scallywags were The Man with Many Names, the Midget with Flippers, and the Girl who Slides on Snow. Their race was so inconsequential that it won't be mentioned in this tale. Only the true heroes are to be reported.
The creatures that gathered for this bout of pain and suffering were the Giant, his Wife, the Good Looking One, the Man with the Beautiful Flock of Hair, the one known as Winstorm, the Barterer, the Foreigner, the Bearded One, the Female Runner, the Du-athlete, Coin-Counter # 2, the Ice Dancer, the Environmentalist, the Endurer, and the Wise Cyclist. Yes indeed, and a fine bunch they were at that. Each creature rearing to go and ready to give it their all.
At half past six in the eve' they began their adventure. Each one knew there was only one way to win this race, and that was to give it everything they had. Right from the start it was clear that the Du-athlete had a clear advantage. This creature, while claiming he hadn't run in many a day, was obviously in good shape. In fact, it had been reported that he was in fact lying about not running and he had run in several races and even on his own accord in the recent past, as witnessed by other members of this illustrious band. All the other members knew that he would do anything in his power to make it seem like he could win at the drop of the hat, but in secret he had been training harder than most.
Right on the sand-baggin' Du-athlete's tail were two of the heros of this tale, the Good Looking One and the One with the Beautiful Hair, aka the Work Horse. These strapping young chaps truly gave it their all and fought tooth and nail against the wind to achieve greatness. They took turns breaking against the wind, but the Work Horse was truly the more powerful one and proved that all his opponent had going for him were his looks, and little else.
An oddity of this race was the one called Winstorm. This was a time when the 'storm was truly beaten at his own game, he was literally held back by the raging wind storm happening during the event. At one point this scallywag decided that he would try to break The Looker and The Work Horse by gusting forward and hopefully burning them out early in the race. However, all this accomplished was tiring himself out and having no power left to bravely face the gale force winds. Rumor has it that Winstorm was in fact slowed down so much by the wind that his backward force actually slowed the Work Horse and the Looker causing them to momentarily slow.
Meanwhile, as these heros were battling the forces of nature, the Ice Dancer decided to make an appearance at this epic event. She decided that if she were going to get close to anyone of any sort of caliber in this band of brothers and sisters that she would need to brave the storm like the other tough souls.
This race was not just between the Looker and the Work Horse. As I said, there were many a brave soul in the rain, wind, and hurt. The Giant made a valiant showing and used his power to propel him to greatness, as is often the case with Giants.
Then there were the Barterer and the Foreigner. These two played a similar game as the Work Horse and the Looker, they used one another to achieve greatness. The Barterer used his skill and strength to do what no one else could on this day, he ran faster than he had run before. He is truly a man of legend who can be matched by few and beaten by fewer. The Foreigner used the Barterer's power to her advantage by running behind him some of the way. This was truly a case where brain and brawn worked together to overcome adversity.
The Runner and the Coin-Counter # 2 were the fastest of the females on this fateful night. Their experience truly paid off and pushed the limits on what the body can achieve under extreme duress.
As for the other brave souls, you might ask? Well, they too achieved more than most. They have the glory and recognition of surviving one of the worst storms in history and of being part of this magical band of creatures.
Yes my friends, these creatures from that far away place are truly beings that may never be understood by our kind. Why they would choose to punish their minds and bodies in such ways will forever be beyond this storyteller, and even beyond our brave captain. Not only do they push the limits of intellect by learning day and night about topics that haven't even been discovered in this hemisphere, but on their spare time they push the limits of three activities. Indeed listeners, this has been the tale of an epic night fought through wind, rain, and grit, to bring glory that will be remembered for years, nay, generations to come.
Barry "Du-Athlete" Claman 5:03:00
Matt "the Work Horse" Reeve 5:15:00
Nathaniel "Midget Flipper" Janzen 5:16:40
Vincent "The Looker" Lavallee 5:17:00
Winstorm Guo 5:25:00
Liam "The Beard" Harrap 5:26:00
Kory "Giant" Seder 5:31:00
Scott "Many Names" Chris 5:33:00
Derrick "The Barterer" Lee 5:44:00
Ceilidh "Endurer" Curtis 6:36:00
Jesse "Wise Cyclist" Chao 6:41:00
Claire "The Runner" 5:47:00
Victoria "Coin-Counter # 2" Gilbert 6:28:00
Mel "Snow Slider" Thompson 6:29:00
Melanie "Ice" Van "Dancer" Soeren 6:42:00
Karin "Foreigner" Olafson 6:44:00
Kimberly "Wife" Seder 6:57:00
Celeste "The Environmentalist" Pakstas 7:07:00