I've experienced a lot of what this iconic event has to offer over the last decade, plunging into the icy waters of Lake Wakatipu in my trusty Speight’s Speedo’s 8 times snaring a few hard fought wins and shedding a little blood along the way.
I've spent my last 9 festival Thursdays chasing Jimmy’s trusty Jack Russell Jose around the slopes of Coronet Peak as part of the Dog Derby and suffering the indigence of having to bark for him each and every time in the Dog Barking. I've raced my suitcase down M1 naked using, seized the much coveted tiara in the Drag Race, experienced Simon Green come and go and come and go again, shed a tear at the loss of Top Bloke, scarred you for life by subjecting your eyes to countless photos of me scantily clad, exported this suffering to the rest of the country via a cheeky plays of the week appearance and more recently in 7 Days. I think the caption they chose for that ridiculous photo was undies, undies, togs, waxed homo and a dog. Thanks Troxy for advising me to wear a pink wig and speedos while carrying Jose and a suitcase out of a frigid Lake Wakatipu for an ODT photo shoot, good idea!
In 2013 I’m scaling back a little, retiring poor Jose due to old age and taking to the Mic for the Dog Derby. I will be assessing my Splash for Cash participation on how many fast young swimmers enter, saving some energy for the well publicised challenge Steve Gurney is bound to pose in the Undy 500 and Suitcase Race. I am attending the one event I’ve never been to the Festival Ball, apologies in advance for letting the dress code down and hogging all the Speight’s.
Queenstown, this is a special time of year for us. How lucky we are to have such a great event in our patch of paradise, embrace the spirit of the festival and get involved.
Gurney, the winner of the Undy 500 gets the Scandinavian backpackers! See you out there my friend!
Mark writes a regular column for the Mountain Scene - View HERE
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