To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Jelle’s Marble Rally Season 6: Race 5

As the sixth season of the marble sand rally almost reaches its midpoint, Ghost Plasma stands in first place overall, 57 points, with Silver Bolt second, 52 points and Ducktape third, 48 points. The marbles entered the fifth race confidently, though cautious. The sand has given the marbles obstacle after unexpected obstacle, showing no remorse, preventing many marbles from finishing the races (referred to as “did not finish” or DNF). 

            Race 5 took place on March 3, 2023 in ideal conditions. There was no wind, and both the sand and weather conditions were at a five out of five rating. The line-up from 1-16, for race five, consisted of Reflektor (REF), Lollipop (LOP), Crazy Cat’s Eye (CCE), Silver Bolt (SBO), Cobra (COB), Slimer (SLI), Ducktape (DUC), Red Number 3 (RN3), Cool Moody (CMO), Amethyst (AME), Wisp of Darkness (WOD), Superball (SUP), Pollo Loco (POL), Blizzard Blaster (BBL), Grasshopper (GRA), and Ghost Plasma (GHO).  

            Except for a DNF in race 2, GHO has won two races and never placed lower than second on any race in this season. For race 6, GHO was placed in the 16th starting position. GHO needed to rely upon its skill as a racing marble to push ahead in this race, now more than ever.

            RN3 had a solid start at the beginning of the race, leading the pack. As we have seen in previous races, AME is known to be unpredictable. AME was nowhere to be seen in the top eight within the first 16 seconds of the race, placing solidly in the middle of the pack. DUC and SLI held steady at sixth and seventh place respectively by 24.48 seconds into the race, not quite on the podium overall, but still accumulating enough points to have the chance to compete for the medals. 

Constant as ever, GHO immediately pushed ahead from 16th to third, showing the other marbles the correct way to race down the sand course. GHO then proceeded to battle against LOP for second place, dedicating a lot of time to meddling in LOP’s plans to place in second as intended. The two marbles went head-to-head for the initial segment of the race, before LOP became fed up with GHO’s antics and moved all the way to first place, pushing GHO down to fourth and throwing a wrench in GHO’s plans for phase one of the race. CCE maintained an aggressive maneuver to hold onto second place, which paid off as CCE was then able to regain first place by 35.94 seconds into the race.

            Around 54 seconds into the race, it seemed clear that the battle for first place would lie between CCE and GHO, who swapped off being in the front of the marble pack multiple times. DUC rolled forwards into third place, mirroring DUC’s current overall score as third place in points for the season. DUC later dropped down to eigth position. 

            Around one minute 10 seconds in, it became evident that a stray leaf had made its way onto the course, providing an unintentional course obstruction. All of the marbles were successfully able to maneuver around the leaf seemingly effortlessly. That move is indicative of how difficult sand rallies truly are: when a course obstruction does not faze a marble, you know the course is tough. 

            By the final third of the course, AME was still nowhere to be seen. The marble briefly made an appearance in the top eight, before dropping back down to somewhere in the middle of the trailing marbles. GHO maintained a strong lead over CCE, catching the speed boost at the end of the course, and hurdling over the finish line for first place. CCE placed an admirable second, with SUP placing third in a surprising turn of events. SUP had not placed at all in any of the previous season six races, so to move up to third place was no small feat. GHO has now set a new record for the number of first place wins within a sand rally season: three and still counting. We will have to see if the remaining races work in GHO’s favor, who is a strong contender to win the season overall. You can watch race five here.

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