In front of a near-capacity crowd of 800, Cas and Jonesy’s opening night was a resounding success that stirred the audience to a standing ovation by its conclusion. These guys are, after all, proven finishers.
James Castrission and Justin Jones seem like normal blokes. But, quite simply, they aren’t, and probably never can be again. Neil Armstrong, Roger Bannister, Cas and Jonesy – once someone achieves something of such uniqueness as to be forever shrouded in the sheer awesomeness of its doing, they become inseparable from that deed.
Or perhaps it’s the opposite of that, their very everyman-ness that defines their appeal. Their manner is totally unaffected, they speak genuinely and humbly of their own moments of doubt and fear. They even maintain their own AV during the show, Jonesy running through the crowd to put things in order as computer gremlins try to bring their final video for the evening undone.
Either way, with a dream of travelling 2275km under footpower, dragging massive sleds and fully unsupported across Antarctica, to the South Pole and back, these 2 knockabout Aussies only started training with skis 18 months beforehand. Yet, surprisingly, their attention to preparation and willingness to put their bodies completely on the line was a theme of the night’s storytelling. So too was the hair-raising manner in which, in temperatures of more than35 degrees C below freezing, they stared hard into the abyss more than once during their 3-month death march – literally and figuratively.
It’s just as likely that you’ll be moved to horror at the documentation of their bodies breaking down, as to laughter at the antics and cameraderie of Norwegian snow virtuoso Aleksander Gramme, their only other occasional companion during the adventure.
Pain, humour, a sense of wonder at their surrounds, a profound friendship, sheer pigheadedness, and a burning desire to explore both inner and outer space, and intimate moments of both compassion and collapse – there is plenty here to enthral trailrunners and endurance athletes alike.
Taking in major capital cities with single shows, the boys will be speaking live and presenting video and audio from both their Tasman and Antarctic trips until their final engagement in Melbourne on August 22.
Highly recommended for the boundary-challenging trail runners among you, see www.casandjonesy.com.au for dates.