The Great Klondike International Outhouse Race is a go!
The Klondike Visitor Association (KVA) is hosting one of its most beloved and ridiculous events, The Great Klondike International Outhouse Race on August 1 in Dawson City. The Outhouse Race started in 1977 and takes place as a Labour Day event. Teams run their wheeled outhouse through a 5 KM route around Dawson City.
Paul Robitaille, marketing and events manager at KVA says, “It was definitely something cooked up between a few friends and a few pints. At the time, there weren’t as many events in the Yukon, especially running events so it was considered a fairly important event, for both those looking for a good time and for the serious runners in the territory.”
For this year, teams of four can sign up and decorate their outhouse with a theme. There are prizes for fastest team, best dressed and best cheer category where teams have to do a limerick following their run.
Robitaille’s favourite memory of the outhouse race was when his team ran the event barefoot, dressed as the Flintstones with a wood fired BBQ replete with moose ribs cooking on it.
“It’s a wild time and it’s something you can brag about to all your friends and family for years to come. People love decorating their outhouse, being the centre of attention,” Robitaille said. The race has changed over the years; it’s been a foot race, an obstacle course, a pub crawl and a knockout tournament, says Robitaille. The event had over 25 teams participating some years but today it’s more likely to see between 6-8 teams race.
Gary Parker and Rose Lamb are experienced outhouse race enthusiasts and winners of many trophies over the years, which are proudly displayed in their functional outhouse. The duo has participated since the very beginning, through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and say the event was very competitive in the past. Some teams participating did weeks of pre-planning and training to win.
“Rose won a few fastest female team trophies, so she has bragging rights for life and I still have the winning limerick, “ said Gary. His winning limerick goes as follows:
The Long Drop Lament
There’s a certain day every summer
When we dress up like dumb and dumber
We take our place
At the start of the race
And today is the day, what a bummer!
Our training regime is unique
Hearty and hale at our peak
We fill our jeans
With cabbage and beans
The other teams’ future is bleak!
To win in a breeze is our S B D plan
You’re welcome to wave, but don’t be a fan
We’ll make every pass
Propelled by bad gas
First to the finish and straight to the can!
No matter what happens we blew it
So why, you may ask do we do it?
It’s not for the girls
The fame or the pearls
But what a relief when we’re through it!
Gary believes that if you’re a tourist with questions about the outhouse race, you’d have to see it to understand it, or better yet, do it!
Folks interested in taking part of this long standing tradition can visit www.dawsoncity.ca/events to join.
“Get your double bubble together and chew up the streets of Dawson!” says Robitaille.