If inflation continues at its current rate, we’ll all need to practice this to dodge muggers trying to nick your bananas.
We took a break from the boatyard and took a trip into town to see this event. The fruit-carrying race forms part of the Heiva festival. We imagined it being a quick dash along a short course in Bougainville Park followed by a contestant’s picnic with their families. But no. This was the antithesis of a walk in the park. And I doubt the last thing on the mind of contestants at the end of the race was eating.
Unlike those of us who consider the bag of fruit from a weekly trip to the supermarket a bit heavy, the contestants were making easy work of lifting loads between 10kg and 50kg. But the lifting is one thing – the running is the real challenge.
I don’t know whether it was a surprise to some of the contestants too, but the course wasn’t the 100m straight sprint we envisaged. It was a looping circuit around the winding paths through the park. That’s maybe a kilometre of pounding the pavements barefoot in 32 degrees of heat with a log over your shoulder. The fruit tied to the end is tradition – the log has the heft.
I’ll shut up here because the photos tell the story:
This, to our knowledge, was the only sporting event held this side of town. The ones we missed included stone lifting to 150kg (I can’t even imagine it).