One of last year’s outhouses during the race. (File photo)

One of last year’s outhouses during the race. (File photo)

Outhouse races will have some new rules this year

‘Is it better to push or pull the outhouse?’

Strap some skis to your outhouse because the Interlakes Outhouse races are back on Feb. 16 and it will be in a new location this year, says chair of the Fishing Highway Tourist Association, Irene Meili.

“We’re not gonna be at the Interlakes business corner anymore but move it to Lone Butte.”

The races will be held in the baseball diamond behind the Iron Horse Pub, a Fishing Highway Tourist Association member, and will be open from 10 a.m. with a breakfast buffet, according to Meili.

“So you can basically go there, have breakfast and then get ready for the races.”

During the races, two outhouses at a time, strapped to skis, will be racing against each other. An outhouse will have three racers, one in the outhouse and two pushing or pulling.

The categories include juniors, men, women and most beautiful or most creative outhouse. Co-ed teams have to start in the men’s category and there will be some new rules this year, says Meili.

“In the past years, it would be, go in one direction, switch the person on the potty and turn around and run back with the outhouse. So, you’d have one change of driver basically. Now this year, it’s gonna be two changes so that everybody has to be in the outhouse for a certain distance,” she says. “We’ll have an added challenge that they will have to stop, get a roll of toilet paper, take it in the outhouse go to the end of the line and turn around and drop the roll of toilet paper in a bin and as soon as it’s there you’re done.”

There will be no snow sculptures this year because they don’t have enough staff, says Meili.

The event, which usually starts at 10 a.m. will start at 11 a.m. instead in hopes of warmer temperatures, which is also one of the reasons they moved the location.

“Interlakes is really exposed. So it was always very cold.”

They’ve already had a few people sign up for the race but are still waiting for more. People can sign up without bringing an outhouse if they contact organizers beforehand, says Meili, so they can have an outhouse ready. However, for those looking to build their own, there are a number of considerations.

“If you don’t wanna run for the most beautiful outhouse but just the fastest then it doesn’t have to be any fancy,” she says. “Use the lightest materials that you can… You can use cardboard, you can use anything light that you can think of. A lot of the outhouses last year used coroplast which is really light. There’s always the discussion about using cross country skis versus using downhills skis. Some like the one better than the other. Then, is it better to push or pull the outhouse? Because you’re allowed to do both. It’s easier if you have some kind of handles attached to the outhouse. That makes for easier running. and what we saw is that sometimes people use cleats or [spikes] that you can put on your boots.”

Jordan Sass is a returning outhouse racer this year. His brother was part of the winning team last year. Sass was still part of the team himself, though didn’t attend as he was in Quebec, he says.

“It’s just a fun gettogether. We have lots of fun” he says. “I get to [see] a good bunch of my friends. We get to hang out together around fires.”

He has similar tips to Meili, emphasizing lightweight, easy to push or pull, good running as well as themes.

“Lots of people like to go with the pulling strategy we go with pushing only,” he says. “Our group of friends that procrastinate isn’t the best at having the most jaw-dropping design but we still make it look decent.”

In order to better plan the event, they ask people to pre-register their team which can be done in person at the Iron Horse Pub in Lone Butte, by e-mailing or calling 250-593-4654. The pre-registration fee is $10, registration on the event day is $15.

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