Relay for Life – 2009

Date: 22nd August, 2009

Venue: Mt Gravatt Showgrounds

Time: 1500, then for another 20 hours…

Mission:

To participate the Cancer Council's "Relay 4 Life". 
To raise funds for supporting cancer victims and cancer research.
To be the best damned team on the field.

Trooper Attendance:
Oz_Scout, Moxxxie, NeoEffect, Trinity, Explosion Ed, Hawkeye, Commander Gree Jnr.

Guest Trooper Attendance:
Kev Vader, Goose, Gremlin

Wranglers:
Knophler, Tachyon, Cristie

Detail:
The day started with a rendevous at Casa Del Moxxxie at 1100. While Oz_Scout finished the final pieces to his armour, the remaining troops gathered on the deck to have a final strategic discussion. With all of the troops in a buoyant and positive frame of mind, we departed to the field of battle. Moxxxie and Neo went to register our attendance – Neo attempted some Jedi Mind Tricks with the organisers and managed to commandeer a double-sized camping site. This was a coup, as many bigger teams had to cram themselves into much smaller spaces. Our nightly shelters were then constructed with a few misdirections and stuff-ups. There are several reasons why Moxxxie hates camping. One of those reasons is Bent Tent Pegs. Once all the hard work had been completed, Goose and Kev Vader arrived to give the troopers a much needed hand to decorate our Base Station with 501st Legion paraphernalia. 

Goose, otherwise known as "MacGuyver Trooper", lived up to his reputation when he assembled the whole Base Station with a few posters, a stick, some double sided tape, and an esky. Moxxxie had drilled a hole inside a disused FX bucket to create the Team Letterbox, however, when suspended from the letterbox pole, it gave the impression we were nothing but a bunch of cannibal troopers, and likely to eat our young. It looked so suspicious, that a few members of the general public attempted to kidnap our Commander Gree Jnr when Neo casually mentioned he was peckish.

600 million litres of Powerade had been donated by Cocacola, which was heavily utilised during the very hot start to the troop. Hawkeye helped Moxxxie create the fluid refreshments by putting his body on the line. His fingers snap-froze when he submerged his whole arm in the drink in order to mix in the powder. When 1500hrs arrived, all troopers were armoured and ready for deployment. After attending the opening ceremony, all troopers lined up behind the 501st Legion banner to pay respects to survivors of Cancer. We were a sight to behold! 

In fact, we looked so damned good that when Commander Moxxxie shouted "TROOPER SALUTE!" most of the Survivor Parade stopped in their tracks in order to fish out their cameras. 

Local media became very interested in the 501st Legion, with interviews taken by the local Mt Gravatt Newspaper, TAFE students, and the Cancer Council themselves. You're a good lookin' bunch of talking eskies, that's for sure!

After the first "group" circuit, Hawkeye and Explosion Ed took the first tour of duty. At first, we had 20 minute stints with two troopers on the field at any point. We quickly discovered this wasn't going to be sustainable, so the routine fell back to having only one trooper on the field, and having 30 minute stints.At dusk, we all attended the "Candle Ceremony". The 501st Legion had the esteemed honour to be invited to participate, by lighting the candle of Hope – the candle for the Future. Hawkeye, one of our newest troopers, managed to light the candle without any hassles – to the great applause of the other attending troopers. For those of you who haven't worn full TK armour, this was a very difficult task made all the more complicated by the fact that at night, you can see a grand sum total of BUGGER ALLthrough the visor.

Well done, "Superstar Trooper"! You made us all proud!

Commander Gree continued to be a livewire of enthusiasm and energy, bounding around the track at all times – supervising the troopers on shift. He buzzed louder than the light saber baton until around 11.15, when he faded entirely. With a happy smile, he went to sleep knowing that the remaining troopers would continue the good work.

Knophler arrived during the night to provide the troopers with sustenance. Pumpkin Soup, Chicken Soup and Apple/Berry Pie were received with rapture. At one point, I believe Oz Scout's jaw actually dropped out of the bottom of his bucket. I believe that Knophler may have raised the standards for Wrangling to an all time high. 

Truly, you are a God among Men. 

In fact, the troopers sang your praises well into the night. As temperatures plummeted, and a heavy and morose dew set in, the only thing keeping them from freezing their plastic off was the hearty goodness of your soup. From the depths of my heart – thank you!

Some time around midnight, a flurry of Imperial Citations were required. It seemed the pesky Smurfs team had decided to collect all variations of the Imperial Citations! They got damn close, even going so far as to touch a trooper in a very inappropriate manner. Didn't they, Oz Scout??! 

Roary the Roar Mascot came for a visit, to make sure there was no ill-will after the last encounter at the Variety Club's Children's Christmas Party… 

Around this point, Neo and Hawkeye faded. Truthfully, with those Smurfs on the loose, I don’t blame them. They had, however, been involved in heavy fighting the day before, so required some time to recover. They retired to Sleeping Hut #1, alongside Gree.

At one point Trinity went to check on the clan, accidently tripping over Hawkeye's almost lifeless form. Thankfully, he was in a very deep coma and didn't even twitch.Moxxxie soon struck up a conversation with one of the local clans – The Scarlet Ladies – who were soon convinced to take our Light saber for a few laps, to give the troopers a slight reprieve. Trinity's not sure if they accepted the request because it was Moxxxie who asked them. 

After a long stint on the track, Oz Scout also retired for a power nap – at which time, Gremlin arrived to keep the troopers company. 

ExEd elected to have a stint. He was focused on spending 60 minutes on the track. Using the Imperial Clock (an old alarm clock sticky-taped onto a pole) Trinity and Moxxxie kept a tabs on his progress. He started at 01:10, and it wasn't until 02:45 that they realised that dew had snuck into the Imperial Time Keeping Device and had busted it up real good. "Marathon Trooper" had been going for a miraculous 90 minutes, without a break. 

What a magic effort! 

Trinity, Moxxxie and Gremlin had also been gas-bagging that entire time, barely taking breath – so when Ed called in, Trinity and Gremlin leapt up to take the Light saber and do a few rounds of the track. After a few laps, Gremlin took leave – knowing that Commander General Tyler would start issuing orders in barely 4 hours time.

After Trinity had taken her spell, it was Moxxxie's chance to do another stint. Decked out in unofficial armour, she walked around the track looking forlorn and miserable. It was dark. It was cold. But she wasn't upset, she just listening to Beginner's French on the iPod. It was all going swimmingly, until the Bastards decided to change the direction of the walkers. 

Soon after that, "Les Miserables Trooper" went for her power-nap because she was le tired.

The "Blue Trooper" then got his groove on. Not only did he march in full TK, he outpaced everybody else on the field. So impressive was his marching, that a real-life Ex-SAS Trooper came to the Base Camp to find out more information about the 501st Legion.

Rejuvenated after her power nap, Moxxxie then jumped straight back up, donned the armour, and marched through til dawn broke over the horizon. It was a magical part of the day shared with ExEd. Two tired troopers, clunking and clanking their way through sunrise. Other competitors moved out of their way as they marched through – party due to the awe inspiring sight they made, but mostly because they made a bloody racket when they marched past. Ninja Troopers, they are not.


Soon after dawn, Neo and Hawkeye rose with vigor – taking the light saber to march through the morning mists. Like Dark Jedi, they stalked amongst the walkers! Hawkeye, Trinity and Oz Scout then took turns to finish up the Relay while Moxxxie and Ed took some well earned rest.


A hearty breakfast was served to all competitors by the local Rotary Club. It was a bright morning, despite a lot of weary people. The closing ceremony was held around 7am, with the ever-bright organisers awarding teams with various awards. The peskie Smurfs won an award for their Banner, while the lovely Scarlet ladies also won an award for their on-field fund raising.With much applause, the award for "On Field Presence" was awarded to the 501st Legion. How could they not? Neo also received an award for fund raising – rightfully so! Many thanks to Neo for organising the Tbar troops which contributed so greatly to the cause. And yes, it has been noted that 2/3rds of the Team were from Toowoomba… You guys rock!

At the end of the day, with tents and banners packed away, the troopers parted knowing they'd completed the hardest troop they had ever faced. 

Smallest Team. Biggest Heart.

Redbacks, be proud of your Relay4Life team – despite the odds, they kicked some serious arse.

Injuries:

Moxxxie sustained the first injury of the troop within 10 minutes of arriving at the field of battle. She almost bled to death via a severed artery in her finger, caused 
by paper-cut. Don’t laugh. It was painful!

Malfunctions:
Many and Varied.
Moxxxie's right hand piece came loose – fixed by quick-thinking Goose.
Oz_Scout had a thigh-connector fray and give in – fixed by Moxxxie. 
Neo had some rather nasty chaffing.
Trinity had a spot of dehydration.
Hawkeye almost froze his arm off trying to stir the Powerade 

Public Incidents:
None.

Mission Status:

This was a very difficult troop, but overall, this mission can be considered a success.

Photos:
In our Photobucket account. 
Here: http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f69/501q…y%20For%20Life/

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