MAPLE PARK – The racers looked focused. They all stared at the course in front of them, determined to sprint past traffic cones and circle back to cross the finish line and win the title: Toilet Bowl Challenge champions.
The ninth annual Toilet Bowl Challenge had racers sitting on decorated toilet bowls on wheels and teammates pushing them across the course Saturday at Maple Park Fun Fest. But the exact premise of the race is what makes it so fun, spectators said.
The event was so popular that people crowded Main Street and even stood on rooftops to watch.
Maple Park resident Chad Ruff enjoyed the race so much that he said he’s thinking about entering next year.
“Where else but Maple Park can you have a toilet bowl race?” he said.
The winner of the race, Rigged Up, had the least flashy design: a toilet bowl glued and taped to a skateboard.
Four teams participated in the race. Winning the Pooh finished second, Dump Dynasty finished third and the Barbed Wire Betties, a roller derby team, received an honorable mention.
Dump Dynasty, a play on words of a reality TV show on A&E called “Duck Dynasty,” also took home the $100 prize for Best in Show. Their toilet was covered in moss and had two ducks and a stereo which played, “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top, the “Duck Dynasty” theme song.
The Dump Dynasty team also had the youngest participants. Each of the boys, all under 12 years old, wore a long beard as part of their costumes. They took off the beards and ate popsicles after the race.
Beth Miller, the mother of one of the racers and designer of the Dump Dynasty toilet, said she designed the toilet two weeks before the race.
“I used a whole lot of glue sticks,” she said.
Larry Stachura, designer of the Winning the Pooh toilet, spent two days on his design.
Stachura said half the fun of the Toilet Bowl Challenge is to come up with a theme.
“One year, we were Royal Flush, and we all dressed up as kings,” he said.
Stachura’s teammate, Jon Ausbury, said it was his fourth year racing. Ausbury wants his daughter to race next year.
“She’s a little shy, so I’ll have to force her into it,” he said.
Toilet Bowl Challenge is a race where people from adjoining towns congregate in Maple Park to watch the fun, Ruff said.
“You come out and have a good time and watch people push toilet bowls,” he said with a laugh.
Rigged Up received $100 for their win, Winning the Pooh received $75 and Duck Dynasty won $50.
Maple Park Fun Fest continues Sunday and Monday. For a schedule and details, see mapleparkfunfest.com.