CONCONULLY Sounds and smells, spills and chills and crazy visuals greeted those attending the 31st annual Conconully Outhouse Races on Saturday.
“I just moved here,” said Molly Shine, who moved to town to teach kindergarten in Omak. “I think it’s great they pulled in snow for it.
“This is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. The buckets just add to it.”
Despite the lack of snow throughout the region, the tiny former mining town north of Omak came through big with a snowy, icy course down Main Street.
The Forest Service opened a gate and Conconully’s Gery Berney of Scotch Creek Construction was able to scoop up five truck loads of snow from the Rusty Creek area about seven miles from town.
“This was farthest we’ve ever gone for snow,” said Mayor Sam Martin, who wore a hat that said “Pray for Snow.”
“I kept telling everybody I was not going to worry about nothing until come Thursday. Three years ago we thought we had the most perfect course. Around 5 p.m. Friday night it warmed up and everything started melting. It all turned to mush,” Martin said of past events.
The town hosed down Main Street on Thursday night then dumped the snow Friday, Martin said.
“We expected the snow to melt a little bit,” but it didn’t, Martin said when snow was applied. “The snow did not stick to the ice. We kind of learned a little bit if we have to do that again. Further down the course it stuck a lot better.
“Right at the starting line they kicked the snow out and feet hit the ice. It was a little slick at that point.”
“This is a hoot, man,” said Rusty Dawkins of Carnation. “This is my first time here in 20 years.”
The parade of poopers started at noon amidst the aroma of kettle corn and a warming fire (temperatures were in the 20s), the recording of escaping gas, the Fartacus entry and visuals, like the Star Shit Enterprise with a visual captain’s log at the door step. Another entry included a sunglasses-bedecked turd on the roof.
(Hey, maybe I should mention the poop stuck to the rear of the Enterprise entry, with a logo saying, “Keep Calm Klingon.”)
There were some great named entries, including Bullshitter, Cutting the Wind, The Party Pooper, The Head, Beer Movement, Fartacus and American Duty.
The races also got off to a speedy start, perhaps too quick as outhouses piled up at the end of the course faster than pellets (malt balls) dropped out the rear of a deer look-a-like entry from Centralia.
The shorter course and biffies going directly back to the start (no stops for a smoke in the back alley) led to the races finishing in about two hours.
“It was a little different course,” Martin said. “All in all, everything went well. Each year the course is different.”
This year there were 16 latrines, compared to 20 last year, which could have sped up results.
“This is the first time I’ve been here in five years,” said Lori Gillenwater of Wenatchee shortly after dodging an errant entrant that crashed through hay bales where she was standing.
“I raced 10 years ago. We were the Brown Streak.”
If you looked fast early, you may have spotted Suicide Race jockey Tyler Peasley in a pink helmet and psychedelic shirt take a quick ride.
“It’s outstanding,” said Dean Seaburg of Woodinville, who with his wife, Molly, were watching the races for the first time. “The people are great. It’s a great outing.”
“It’s fun for every age,” Molly Seaburg said.
A.J. Goss of Omak took video of the event with his remote-controlled quad copter, which is a new business venture for him. The video was to be in place early this week on YouTube.com.
This year’s races drew racers from Phoenix, and Fair Oaks, Calif. Several teams came from Centralia.
The highlight of the races are the final two competitions – bucket race (buckets on the pusher’s heads) and X-treme (lifting the outhouse over a hay bale at the start of an obstacle race).
One entry sped off the course to one side, then reversed direction and crashed through bales on the other side. The collision caused Jennifer Marshall of Pateros to fall, scraping a knee.
“It would have been fine if I could see where I was falling,” Marshall said after hurting a knee falling over a hay bale in the bucket race. She would gather herself, stand and wave to the cheering crowd afterwards.
More than 1,000 lined the street for the races, where there is no admission.
“Sometimes they are there an hour and disappear into a bar,” Martin said. “So you don’t have a clue how many there were and how many watching out the windows.
“I think all the business owners were happy.”
Men’s: SHid’ER Jocky’s.
Women’s: SHid’ER Jocky’s.
Teen: The Chronicle CanDoo.
Seniors: Party Poopers.
Family: SHid’ER Jocky’s.
Bucket: North End Boys.
X-treme: SHid’ER Jocky’s.
Best Costume: America Duty.
Having fun: Party Poopers.