Fruit Carrying

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:

Bananas

Losing his bananas

Highly strung bananas

Slippery bananas

Lost his bananas

Unbalanced

Lot of bananas

Seasoned veteran

Fierce bananas

Weights over 50kg

Sprinty

Gourdy

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).

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