The Elusive Outdoors

Cancer 27, 2077, m249

 Chariton Drilling crew find time to play a game of catch.

Chariton Drilling crew find time to play a game of catch.

Being outside is incredibly inhospitable and deadly, yet it turns out to be the cradle of Martian sports.

For those that work in the field, especially members of nomadic settlements or expeditionary companies, many hours are logged under the Martian sky. There are always risks associated with being away from protective habitats, but among the benefits of being outdoors is a propensity to play games. This has inspired the MAFL, the survival marathons like Pathfinder and the Olympus Run, and continues to host a wealth of would-be athletics.

 Dating back to 708 BC, the ancient Greek pentathlon is re-emerging on Mars. Jones Tokjon mixes field-work with outdoor training.

Dating back to 708 BC, the ancient Greek pentathlon is re-emerging on Mars. Jones Tokjon mixes field-work with outdoor training.

Sports like the ancient Greek pentathlon has re-emerged on Mars thanks to ambitious field workers exploiting their surface hours to train and re-imagine how games are played with our planetary conditions. Discus throws here travel over 350 meters, more than 4x the world record holders of Earth, and javelin throws travel more than half a kilometre.

The success of sports is slowly influencing changes in colony policies with respect to out-of-colony access. Less than a year ago, many participants of the Marineris Pathfinder Marathon had to rely on virtual training with limited in-field training time. New permits are allowing ‘non-essential’ colonists to go outdoors for the first time. Considering that prior to 2077, less than 5% of all colonists had walked freely on the surface of the planet they live on, this marks a incredible new stage for life on Mars.

The Pathfinder Sport Athletics Committee (PSAC) now has a full schedule of track & field competitions, including many programs for novices. With easier public access to out-of-colony permits and more maintainable life support and EV suits becoming a growing trend, outdoor sports will no longer be exclusive to those in construction, natural resource operations, and expeditionary companies.