The Bikes N Beers clan survived our first ever Highland Games at Maryville College this weekend. Our clan consisted of very little Scottish blood but that did not keep us from making the most of the festivities…we were all Scottish for the weekend. The weather was beautiful and close to 90 degrees each day so it was a good thing there was lots of cold beer and a steady updraft in the kilts. BNB provided some mega fans for cooling and in return got a field side seat to the competition.
Saturday was spent watching the professional athletes compete. These guys are pretty impressive in size and strength. Now the BNB crew members have some big muscle-age of their own, but these competitors are muscle bound enough to make even the most buff guys rethink the quality of their workouts. Sunday was our turn to compete in the amateur Master’s division.
Competition started at nine o’clock and for the next 7 hours we rotated through the 9 events; Hammer Throw (x2), Weight for Distance (x2), Stone Put (x2) Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, and Weight for Height. We are proud to say that we completed all the events and performed better than we expected having had only 1 day of practice. (Be sure to come back and check out our event video coming soon). Each BNB contestant had their different event strengths but the surprise of the day was Wee Man’s ability to pick the caber. Just another piece of evidence that you should never underestimate the Wee Man.
Although the seasoned athletes are big and gruff don’t mistakenly think these guys are mean. Quite the contrary, these are some of the nicest folks we have met at an event. Many of the experienced athletes were more than willing to provide pointers to aid our competitive performance, often coming on the field to personally demonstrate the proper form or pulling us a side for a quick tutoring session. And yes, we even met a real William Wallace (FREEEEEDOM!!)
The food was a little unusual for our American palettes but most of the dishes included sausage of some sort and that can’t be a bad thing. None of us had a hankerin’ for haggis this year but we always have next year to look forward to that. The only drawback was the one beer tent that you had to pay to enter and then couldn’t leave with your beer. Now we understand this is a family event, but it would have been much nicer to be able to enjoy your beverage while watching the events and shows. The grounds were kept clean and there were ample facilities for the crowd, which was surprisingly small given the quality of competition and entertainment. All in all the BNB gang had a great weekend and we have already decided to attend and compete next year. Now we have 364 days to practice…in the meantime come back for the Bikes N Beers Smoky Mountain Highland Games video to see our awesomeness in action.