Outhouse races once again draw classic crowd

TRENARY – Hundreds of people came out to watch one of the most unusual sporting events in the upper Peninsula – the 20th annual Trenary Outhouse Classic.

There was a line of cars on M-67 that went on for miles as people walked down the road to get to Trenary to see the outhouse races, which are run down the main street.

This year’s theme was the Roarin’ 20s with the buttons saying “Everyone’s goin’ to the Roarin’ 20th ever Trenary Outhouse Classic.

The first race in 1994 had a few crudely fashioned outhouses that were raced down the sidewalk. Since then, people from the age of 2 to 74 have participated in the races.

The object of the competition is to be the fastest two-person team to push an outhouse on skis 500 feet down the street. The outhouses are pushed one at a time down the road and are built from wood, cardboard or other materials and must include a toilet seat and a roll of toilet paper.

Tom Felty of Frankfort, Ind., has been participating in the the outhouse races for the past 10 years. Felty said he saw the outhouse races on the Outhouse Tours of America website and decided to participate.

“I saw it and said, ‘that’s something I want to do, so I came up here and I’ve been coming back ever since,” Felty said. “It’s nice, it’s just a good time and it’s something different.”

According to Felty, Frankfort is about 500 miles away. He said one of the main reasons he keeps coming back is because he’s never had a bad time in Trenary.

“My only goal is to just have fun,” Felty said. “I’ve come in first twice, I’ve had a second, I’ve had a third and I’ve finished last. In 10 years I’ve done it all, so now I just want to have fun.”

This year Felty’s outhouse was an imitation of a 1920 Ford Model T. It was black with a toilet seat on the front where the hood would be, and there was a roll of toilet paper on each side. Painted on the front grill was “1920 Model T-Oilet.”

“When I was thinking of roarin’ 20’s, all I thought was Model T,” Felty said. “So I brought a Model T-Oilet.”

There were 23 outhouses registered this year. All money raised by the outhouse races is put back into the community, said Dianne Peterson, Trenary Outhouse Classic committee treasurer.

“The turnout was excellent,” Peterson said. “We really appreciate all the people who come to our little town.”

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is awhitefoot@miningjournal.net