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Racing to the end

July 20, 2012

Determination is obvious on the faces of the Oen Kitchen and Bath bed racing team as they participate in the event Thursday at the Summer Moon Festival. Their determination was rewarded with a second place finish. The team donated their $100 prize to the St. Johns Fire Department.

For nearly two hours, 18 area teams locked horns in the spirit of battle in an attempt to show true athleticism and teamwork.

If they had been trying to exhibit their sport as the next possible addition to Olympic events, the results might not have turned out so well. However, fun for all in the name of charity was the goal, and the annual charity bed races at the 2012 Summer Moon Festival in downtown Wapakoneta were a complete success.

When the smoke had cleared and all the teams had run the course, Wapakoneta Fire Department team 1 was the winner. The top three teams received cash prizes to donate to the charity of their choice and the fire department chose to give their $150 winnings to the American Red Cross.

“It’s not as easy as it looks,” said one woman who was a member of the Auglaize Acres team.

Two teams raced against each other in the event, in which the winner was determined by the best time through four stations.  Each team had five members with one bed rider and four others pushing it along. After passing through an arch of water that immediately soaked each team at the start, the tams first stopped at a make the bed station, with team members having to make the bed with the rider still in it. Teams came up with many ingenious ways to position the rider while making the bed as the race went along. At the second stop, riders had to unthaw a frozen tee shirt enough to where the rider could put it on.

The third station featured the “Elephant March,” in which one of the team members had to put a pair of panty hose over his or her head with softball in the bottom. They had to swing the contraption back and forth to knock down eight soda bottles, one by one.

The final, most grueling station was the sausage pass. All five team members lined up and had to pass a sausage that had been covered in butter, alternating between over the head and between the legs. If the sausage was dropped, they had to start over from the beginning. They finished the race by loading the rider back on and pushing him across the finish line. Each station had to be completed before moving on to the next.

Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dan Graf said a record number of teams, 18, participated in the event.

“It makes you proud to see that many teams turn out for a charitable event,” Graf said. “Its great the number of clubs and businesses that want to participate.”

Graf said it was the 10th year for the annual event that began in 2002 with six teams.

“The event gets more and more popular every year and brings in a lot of spectators,” Graf said.

Other teams winning money for charity were Oen Kitchen and Bath, which chose to give its $100 winnings to the St. Johns Fire Department, and Lulu’s 113 Team 2, which donated its $50 third-place winnings to Song In My Heart.

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