A scene from the Fur Rondy Outhouse Race in Alaska.

What the H is an outhouse race?

Revelstoke Spirit Fest brings popular outhouse racing to town.

What is an outhouse race?

That was the first question that popped to mind when I saw the schedule for this year’s Spirit Fest.

Well, it’s not a race to see who can do their business fastest. I don’t think anyone would want to watch that. And how would you prepare the contestants? Force feed them a pot of curry? Enlist ex-lax as a sponsor?

So, off to the Internet I went.

The first link that turns up is for the Mackinaw Pepsi International Outhouse Race. Yep, you read that right – in Mackinaw City, Michigan, outhouse racing is big enough to warrant corporate sponsorship and the ‘international’ designation. According to an ESPN article (they showed up to a race), 500 people show up to watch, in a town of less than 1,000 people.

The winning team gets a golden toilet seat.

The slogan for the race: “The best case of the ‘runs’ you’ll ever have.”

As it turns out, outhouse racing involves teams of five building an outhouse, placing it on skis (or wheels in summer) and then racing it around a course while one team member sits on the toilet. It’s as simple as that.

Well, maybe not. There is the matter of crafting the best looking, most creative outhouse possible. This isn’t just a Porta Potty competition.

In Mackinaw, someone made an outhouse modelled after the Popemobile. It was called the Holy Crapper and the team wore monk’s clothing.

I also found a picture online of an outhouse called ‘Built like a brick ****house.” Then there was the Flower Potty, Troll hole,

The most popular outhouse race in the world is in Trenary, Michigan. (I guess those Michiganers really like their outhouses.) There, thousands of people come out to watch the races. They even crafted the Toivo Creation Story, named after race founder Toivo Aho. It begins:

“In da beginning dere was nuttin’ goin’ on in Trenary.

On da first day Toivo created da Outhouse race.”

Revelstoke is hosting its outhouse race in Centennial Park on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 2-4 p.m. Call Benoit’s Wine Bar or visit revelstokespiritfest.ca for more information.

 

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