After a month’s delay, the sun shone brightly on the ninth annual Interlakes Outhouse Races Saturday, April 1.
Hundreds of area residents came out to watch 13 intrepid teams compete to see who could push their outhouse the fastest across the Iron Horse Pub’s baseball diamond. True to the day’s spirit there was plenty of goofing around and laughter shared by everyone.
Fishing Highway 24 Association director Tammy Midgley, who helped organize the races, said the turnout was one of the best they have seen yet.
“It’s been a great day. The weather cooperated and it was a lot of fun,” Midgley said. “You put these things on, put in a lot of time and effort, and you hope people show up. To see a turnout like this is phenomenal.”
Many of the racers who took to the field had never competed before. One of them was Jacob Cutler who raced on behalf of Mr T Contracting, taking first in the men’s and mixed division.
Cutler said he and his coworkers have been excited to race for months now and even built their own outhouse. Actually pushing it, however, proved to be a bit more of a challenge.
“It was challenging and a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought because we’re on skis we could just slide but we had to push,” Cutler said. “Taking first place was amazing. I didn’t think us smokers could do it, but we’re still young so we won.”
Cutler said he plans to defend the title at next year’s race but noted they’ll have to build a lighter outhouse, for better speed.
He added it was nice to see so many people coming out to cheer him and other racers on.
Highland 4-H Club member Sarah Tinney attended to help her club raise money with a bake sale during the race. In between selling popcorn and baked goods, she tried her hand at racing the club’s outhouse.
Tinney said it was lighter than she expected and a blast to push around. Next year she plans to race again with a new outhouse, painted bright green.
“(The race) brings the town together, it’s fun and it is just kind of entertaining,” Tinney, 14, said.
Veteran racer Valaurie Wettstein agreed with Tinney, adding the races are the perfect way for local businesses and volunteer groups to promote themselves. Wettstein raced in a western-themed outhouse her family built for the Wettstone Guest Ranch. Their outhouse went on to win the Best Decorated award.
“You can’t get more Cariboo Country than an outhouse race,” Wettstein said. “We have competed for a couple of times already, it’s so much fun.” Wettstein said they competed to have fun and entertain people, not necessarily to win. They proved to be a fast team but also “very clumsy at the same time,” she remarked with a laugh.
Williams Lake’s Bryden Campbell said he came down to just watch the event but got roped into competing with his sister and their friend. Bryden said they raced as the TP Cruisers and ultimately came first in the youth division, much to his delight.
“This was the first time I’ve even heard of it but I thought it was awesome,” Bryden said. “I would definitely do it again. I liked the cooperation, teamwork and the adrenaline rush it gave.”
Midgley said the association is looking forward to organizing the Outhouse Races annually again now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. She thanked the Iron Horse Pub for being their partner and hosting the event.