Another season of Marbula 1 is rolling around the corner, and this season is getting more attention from the Marble Sports community after the huge success of Season 1. However, I had to know if the competitors felt any differently about Marbula 1 this year than last year, and how the newcomers felt about their invitation. So I hopped on some planes and flew out to see what they all were thinking, as well as have some good old fashioned fun.
After landing in Accelaise, I met with siblings Speedy and Rapidly where they were training. You might know them as the defending champions of Marbula 1.
Rapidly: “Hey, you’re (pant) from The Rollout right?”
“I am, got a couple moments to spare?”
Speedy: “We do, Rapid and I need a water break”.
“So, what’s the training been like since winning the Marble League?”
Rapidly: “Speed and I have been working practically non-stop to prepare for Marbula 1 since we got back in Accelaise. We do feel pressure since our fanbase is a ‘podium or bust’ fanbase, but hey, that’s just how we roll I guess.”
“And thank you for the terrible pun Rapidly. Speedy if you had to pick one team who you think has the best chance to win Marbula 1, besides you guys, who is it?”
Speedy: “Hmm… I’m honestly going to say the Minty Maniacs. I mean, they won 4 gold medals in Marble League, that’s more than we had so… yeah, they’re our biggest threat I’d say.”
“Rapidly, what’s the secret to how you guys approach a race?”
Speedy: “Rapidly, don’t answ-”
Rapidly: “I got it bro, our strategy is to approach the race the same we always do, that’s all you’re getting out of me.”
“I know you guys think you’re fast, but I bet I can beat you guys to the finish line from here.”
As I finished my statement, I took off. The Speeder Siblings were obviously annoyed, but they tried to catch me anyways. They came close, but I beat them by way less than the 2-second headstart I had.
“NOT FAIR!” Speedy yelled as we caught our breath.
“Yeah, really man? You’re gonna play dirty like that?” Rapidly added on. I could only smile and laugh, however, they would later get me back by splashing me with water while I was reading my notes (thank goodness my notes stayed dry).
It’s not hard to find where the O’rangers practice in Orlango, literally everyone in the city knows where their farm is. Once again, the Marbula 1 roster has more siblings on the race track, this time in the form of Clementin and Orangin.
“So coming off a second place in the Marble League, and a third place in Marbula 1 to the Savage Speeders and the Hazers, are you guys the team to dethrone the Savage Speeders? Or are you the Oceanics in a water event?”
Orangin: “First of all, you’re really taking a shot at us like that? Second of all, we’re going to dethrone the Savage Speeders, we’ve got the skill to back it up, and we’re confident, last time the Speeders won the Marble League, we won the very next competition they competed in.”
“Orangin’s certainly confident, Clementin. Which team besides yourselves, has the best chance to win Marbula 1 S2?”
Clementin: “Um… I’m gonna say Mellow Yellow, I know they’re hungry for revenge after the sub-par performance they had in Marble League, so I think it’ll be them if it’s not us.”
“Is there any pressure from fans to perform after making the podium in the last two competitions and being so close to winning Marble League?”
Orangin: “There definitely is. With us, we’re a team who has to be at the top all the time because of how much success we’ve had in the past, so we’re absolutely feeling the pressure to be at the top of our game again. In fact, I’ve basically been racing against my family for the past 2-3 months straight now. Honestly though, it’s always fun to race, so I don’t care.”
Clementin: “I will point out that I hold a 35-30 record against Orangin this year so far!”
Orangin: “That’s because Clementin never gives a fair countdown!”
Anyone who knows me knows I have an affinity for Thorston, not only because of their team, the Thunderbolts, but also because of the high frequency of thunderstorms in the area. Maybe that’s why I enjoy interviewing the Thunderbolts so much? Regardless, I had to conduct our interview inside due to a thunderstorm brewing outside. Shock and Bolt are used to the storms though and even have an indoor training track for those scenarios.
“You two didn’t really peak in the season until the second half in which you broke the hosts curse by finishing second on the Short Circuit. Do you guys think you can keep those performances up through the entire season?”
Bolt: “I know we can, but we both know that we need to be at the top of our games to do that, if we perform at our best, nothing can stop us.”
“Shock, aside from you guys, who do you think has the best chance of winning Marbula 1?”
Shock: “I think… the Hazers do, they got second place last time and you know they want revenge.”
“What’s the pressure like replicating what your former team did during the Marble Leagues in ‘16, ‘17, and ‘18?”
Bolt: “It’s major, especially because they finished 3rd overall in Marble League 16’ and it’s so hard to replicate something like that, so it’s definitely some big pressure.”
“What do you guys do if the power goes out during a thunderstorm while you’re training?”
Shock: “We use it as training for Midnight Bay! What else?”
Training to be at the top of competitions is hard enough, but training to be at the top of Marble League and Marbula 1? That requires some of the most grueling training regimens known to marblekind. As if those training regimens aren’t hard enough, the Hazers take it a step further by training in the high altitude and thin air. Just getting up to their training facility is difficult, it’s a hike up the surrounding peaks to cross a bridge to get onto the mountain. Once you’re there, finding their training facility is challenging. Fog levels on the mountain aren’t constant, meaning at times their facility is covered by the fog. After all that, I finally was able to sit down with Hazy and Smoggy.
“How difficult is it to train in these conditions?”
Smoggy: “It’s honestly normal for us, we’ve lived up here basically our whole lives, which allows us the advantage of better stamina, but clearly it doesn’t translate to better strength as anyone who watches block-pushing would note.”
“How hard has it been to take that second place in Marbula 1 last season?”
Hazy: “It was difficult for me in particular as I was the one who raced the final race… I still don’t know why I couldn’t figure that track out… I’m hungrier than anyone for revenge in this competition, we’re not here for second, we’re here to win.”
“Other than you guys, who do you think has the best chance of winning Marbula 1 Season 2?”
Smoggy: “You might make fun of us for saying this, but we both agree that it’s Primary. Prim is Prim and we’ve seen Rima pull off some great runs when they’ve gotten to run. I wouldn’t be surprised if they win it all this year.”
“Is there any pressure to get 1st this year from the fans after a disappointing second last year?”
Hazy: “There’s pressure from ourselves to get first, if anyone thinks otherwise, they’re dead wrong. We’re not even worried about the pressure from our fans. Sure we want to give them a show, but we’re more worried about the pressure from ourselves.”
“Ok, mind telling me how to get down from here? It’s a little foggy outside still.”
To say the Raspberry Racers failed to live up to their expectations in Season 1 is an understatement. To be fair, it’s nearly impossible to live up to the expectations they had. They were trying something new and coming off their Marble League 19’ victory, they were expected to be near the top. No one in Rubow could blame them, but now Razzy and Ruzzy have little expectations on them, and some might argue it works to their advantage.
Razzy: “We don’t really care about the expectations on us, we just wanna go out and perform our best.”
“Do part of the expectations you guys have involve being able to beat the Li-”
Razzy and Ruzzy: “No comment”
“Ruzzy, being new to Marbula 1, does that make you nervous?”
Ruzzy: “Not at all, I’ve been racing for the Racers for a long time, I’m not going to get nervous competing under their name in Marbula 1!”
“Aside from you guys, who do you think has the best chance to win Marbula 1 Season 2?”
Razzy: “Savage Speeders. They’re the defending Marble League and Marbula 1 champions and knowing them, they’re capable of winning anything they compete in.”
“What’s the pressure from the fans like right now?”
Ruzzy: “It’s intense, especially considering our less than impressive resumes as of late, but we’re hungry to make a comeback in this competition. We know we can perform well in this competition, and maybe with the pressure off of us, we’ll be able to perform at our peaks. We both know what we’re capable of, and we’re determined to bring a berry sweet trophy back to Rubow.”
When you think of marbles that have been parts of storylines, Team Momo is one of the first you think of. When you think of fan-favorite teams, Team Momo’s likely the second team you think of, right behind the O’rangers. Their Marbula One competitors, Momo and Mimo, are about as unique as their team name. Their training regimen isn’t nearly as intense as any other teams, but they do have one unique aspect that sets them apart: part of their schedule includes meditating.
“Why do you guys include meditation as part of your training?”
Mimo: “It helps us focus, simple as that. We’ve also found that we tend to be fast after we meditate, why exactly I don’t know, but if it works it works.”
“Besides yourselves, who do you think has the best chance of winning Marbula 1?”
Momo: “We think it’s the Hazers, they got second place last year and are hungry for a redemption run.”
“What’s the pressure like from the fans to have ‘mo’ success in Marbula 1 this year?”
Mimo: “Heh, It’s huge, mainly because we made Marble League ‘20 but also because we know we can do better than we did. Maybe we’ve put some of this pressure on ourselves, but we still feel a lot of it.”
“Do you guys meditate before a race?”
Momo: “We’re not giving out any secrets to our pre-race routine!”
Galakonur was still cleaning up after the Marble League, but those efforts didn’t appear to be stopping Starry and Pulsar, who were racing around on their practice circuit and didn’t seem to be held down by the festivities from the Closing Ceremony or the 2020 Marble League in general.
“After getting 5th in Marbula 1 and being so consistent at coming in 5th place in Marble League, what is the plan to break on to the podium?”
Starry: “It’s simple in reality: just win. We’re focused this year to get first in every race we can.”
“Aside from you guys, who do you think has the best chance to win Marbula 1?”
Pulsar: “Hmm, we think the O’rangers do, they’re one of the more consistent teams in marble sports, and you know they’re hungry for a victory now.”
“What’s the pressure like from your fans to do well this year?”
Starry: “It’s really high after we did so well in Season 1 and were only able to get 5th the majority of the time in Marble League. The fans are expecting us to crack the podium this time, and we have no intention of letting them down.”
“What was it like knowing you’re the only pair of teammates to both win a Marbula 1 race?”
Pulsar: “It’s special to know that, but at the same time, we also know we could’ve won last year, so the pressure is on.”
“Do you guys have a bet going on if one of you doesn’t win a race at season’s end?”
Starry: “I think Coach told us that if one of us doesn’t win a race and the other does, that the one who didn’t win a race has to deal with all of the postseason media.”
Pulsar: “Yes, they did tell us that, not that we hate the media or anything, just that it gets kind of annoying when people keep asking you the same questions over and over again.”
“This is why I’m the only one who could get this interview isn’t it?”
Starry: “Hahaha, yeah probably!”
The Green Ducks were once the Cinderellas of marble sports. In their rookie year, they made the Marble League and came so close to winning it all. However, midnight struck during Marbula 1, as they came off winning Race 2, and never again were in contention to win it all. Billy and Mallard felt the fall hard.
“What is it like knowing that you guys were at the top of the Marble League and then you’ve hit a sophomore slump?”
Billy: “It’s really hard to take that because after you get a taste of that success, you just want more and more and so do the fans, but you can’t give them what they want… it’s really hard.”
“Aside from you guys, who do you think has the best chance to win Marbula 1?”
Mallard: “Probably the Hazers. They’re going to be hungry for revenge after what happened last year, and knowing them, they’re capable of going off on tears without warning.”
“What’s the pressure like from your fans?”
Billy: “It’s huge really, we’re fully aware that our fans expect us to be at our best when we compete and everyone knows we’re capable of winning.”
“So Billy’s nickname on your poster is “The Kid”, is there some inside joke or something where that came from?”
Mallard: “That’s actually a nickname the O’rangers gave them during Marble League ‘19, it had a nice ring to it, so we kept calling them that. Billy’s also the most childish out of us, playing quite a few practical jokes on us every now and then. So the name just stuck, I still don’t know how the marketing department found out though.”
As I was going to thank them, I noticed Billy’s chair was empty, then I felt the chair beneath me slide out from under me and I fell. I turned around and saw the kid themselves, they had pulled my chair and was laughing hysterically.
“Remind me to never let them out of my sight during future interviews.”
Mallard: “Hahahaha, I will.”
It’s no secret that Mellow Yellow has had some of the most memorable performances in marble sports. However, Marbula One has not been their forté. They finished on the podium once and in the following Marble League, they had one of the biggest falls anyone had ever seen. Yet hope remains as they finished with a silver in the Marble Marathon, which closely resembles Marbula One. Yellow and Yellup are well aware of what they’re capable of in this tournament now.
“After putting up numbers in the Marble League that often challenged the Speeders, how hard is it to be in this slump?”
Yellow: “It’s really hard, mainly because we know we’re capable of, and we just can’t seem to perform at our peak. We know we’re better than recent results show.”
“Other than yourselves, who do you think has the best chance of winning Marbula 1?”
Yellup: “Team Galactic, they’re the only team who had both members win a race last season, so what’s stopping them from performing even better this year?”
“What’s the pressure like from your fanbase after the sub-par results from you guys?”
Yellow: “They’re expecting something huge this time, and believe me, we have no intention of letting them down. The other teams need to prepare for something big from us because we’re hungry.”
“Out of curiosity, how’d you guys come up with the name Mellow Yellow?”
Yellup: “The Fruit Circuit teams always had some pretty big personalities, while we were more… mellow, and we’re yellow… so that’s the name we took, not to mention it does go with our stories pretty well, I guess even then we were keeping it mellow.”
“Hahaha, there’s no way to avoid the pun in your name is there?”
Yellow: “Not really, unless you want to refer to us as calm… which doesn’t have as good a ring in my opinion.”
When you think of the Midnight Wisps in Marbula One, you’re likely remembering Wospy’s conveyor belt incident from the O’raceway. However, you likely don’t remember that Wospy also got a Bronze medal in the Hivedrive or that Wispy came just short of the podium on the Razzway. Of course, they may have finished just short of auto-qualification in Marble League 2020, but that doesn’t hide the fact they are one of the elite teams in marble sports. It just seems to be bad luck that gets in their way.
“Many people still remember the conveyor belt incident from the O’raceway, how does it make you feel that that’s your reputation in Marbula 1?”
Wospy: “We feel undervalued. I mean sure we weren’t going to win even without that incident, but we still could’ve made more noise than we did.”
“Aside from you guys, who has the best chance to win Marbula 1?”
Wispy: “Minty Maniacs. We’re aware that they’re newcomers, but they won the marathon event in Marble League ‘20, and they’re riding high off a 3rd place finish overall, not to mention they were faster than the Speeders in a few events.”
“What’s the pressure like from your fanbase coming into this year?”
Wospy: “It’s been on since we won Marble League 18. The fans always expect more from us, and we know we can give them more than we have… It’s just a matter of being able to put it all together to show that we’re not a Cinderella.”
“So the clock hasn’t struck midnight for you guys?”
Wispy: “You had to say that didn’t you? Come on!”
Wospy: “(Groan) I was trying to avoid making that pun in the first place!”
Link to Part 1: https://jellesmarbleruns.com/2020/10/30/offseason-moments-ml2020-part-1/ As we in the JMRC were enjoying the 2020 offseason, we sent Stynth on a world tour during the first few weeks to interview every team that competed in the 2020 Marble League.
FISH TO FISH MEDIA BV | Hannie Dankbaarpassage 14, 1053 RT Amsterdam, Netherlands
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