Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wilco Relay another success!

Dry Creek exchange baton.
For immediate release: Wilco Hardware would sincerely like to thank all those involved in the most successful Wilco Relay yet.  The new rules that were applied this year eliminated all the cheating, making it a fair race to the finish. As to the finish, congratulations to the Premier Male team, Sandalwood, who were first place in 8 hours and 22 minutes, less than one minute outside the course record.  Right behind them were TMRI Boys who made up an enormous amount of ground in the final two stages, coming into Rentapau they trailed by 6 minutes, at Shark bay they had closed that to 3 minutes and finishing just 1 minute behind.  Having won the event several times, Island Property were in third place with a time of 8:36. 
Only four Premier Female Teams competed with Paita Athletic Club Women being the winners by a big margin. All the way from New Caledonia, their time was 10 hours and 59 minutes nearly an hour in front of Road Runners in second and Trade Base girls a close third.
The Mixed was also poorly contested and Wilco hopes to see more teams in this category next year, the prize money for the Mixed is the same as the Premier Male and Premier Female.  It was another win for Team Paita Athletic Club from New Caledonia in a time of 11 hours and 58 minutes with Classic Printers in second with a time of 12 hours and 11 minutes.
The Social Category was as popular as ever.  Teams get out there to enjoy the experience that is the Wilco Relay, the lack of prize money being no deterrent.  The enjoyment was evident when Team Tequila danced across the finish line.  It was won by the Full Monty Black in a time of 12 hours and 4 minutes which would’ve earned them second place in the Mixed category, second was ICC United in their first attempt at the Relay with 12:26 and third Full Monty Blue 12:43.
The Social Category also saw the Jump Start teams who have been competing in the Relay for 15 years going back to when it was a TVL sponsored event.  One of the Jump Start team now has competed in every leg of the Relay, a phenomenal effort.  The Coast Busters also came all the way from Australia and having connections to Vanuatu also had some Ni-Vanuatu runners. 
Wilco would like to give a special thanks to the three teams from the Paita Athletic Club in New Caledonia and the two Jump Start Teams and the Coast Busters from Australia, for attending the Relay and hope that they will be back for more next year.
A big change this year was the School Relay with the kids running 2km each around the block instead of dividing up the last leg.  This was a crowd pleaser and exciting event.  Wilco hopes that more schools will compete next year.  The amazing athleticism of the Ni-Vanuatu was on display and the School Relay was won by Survival School in 1 hour and 25 minutes, right behind in second Lycee de Monmarte 1:26 and third Roau School just pipping out of a place Centreville by one minute.
One of the things that really makes the Wilco Relay a truly special event is the efforts that villages around the island go to, to decorate their villages and encourage the runners as they go past.  A real surprise this year was to be ‘attacked’ by the Roi Mata Warriors.  The Best Decorated Village was awarded to Port Havannah, Second Emua and third went to the Roi Mata Warriors.
A lot of work goes into running an event around the island and Wilco would like to thank the Event Logic staff, Wilco Staff, AVL staff, Clare, Pam, Val, Carolyn, Rhonda & Melanie for manning the checkpoints and tabulating the results.  Kris Russet for his help organising the motorcycles and bicycles and the motorcyclist’s and cyclist’s themselves, who shepherded the runners around the course.  Last but not least, the Police who did an amazing job handling the vehicles out on the course and with traffic around Wilco to allow the runners to run safely.