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Trike racers say Hello to Jell-O
MARYSVILLE What has eight legs, three wheels and a bright pink complexion?
On June 15, the answer was any one of the 16 teams participating in the Strawberry Festivals annual Trike Race.
Teams of four braved obstacles as immobile as weaving figure eights around concrete rings, as wet as the showerhead of the rain forest and as pink as the Jell-O pit that marks the end of each relay leg.
By the end of the day, over three categories of tricycling competition, Kelly Peterson DDS and Golden Corral each had two teams place. Perennial favorites Golden Corral No. 1 placed third in the Competition category to Roy Robinson No.1 and Marysville Fire No. 2 teams, but Golden Corral No. 3 won the 50-50 category.
Squads from Kelly Peterson DDS won the Powder Puff category and took third in the 50-50, while Bud Barton Glas-Co took second in the 50-50.
Trike Race organizer Chris Nation said that during the 10 years he has overseen the Strawberry Festival favorite event, teams from Golden Corral, Roy Robinson Chevrolet and the Marysville Fire Department have typically vied for the top spots in competition.
But theyre getting older and new teams are coming up, Nation said, giving hope to rookie teams overwhelmed by the races nine events.
We used to think it was physical, Nation said, when asked about the traits of winning teams. It comes down to a lot of luck. If you get stuck on an obstacle, it can throw the whole thing, he added.
One such unlucky team was Marysville Fire #1. In the races marquee match-up, Marysville Fire #1 faced off against Golden Corral #1. The veteran teams traded narrow leads throughout the relay race until disaster struck Marysville Fire #1 in the Poo Pit. As third leg Travis Zimmerman was emerging from the bumpy ramp inches deep in mud, the team tricycles seat and back wheels broke from the front wheel and handlebars.
Precious seconds were lost as a substitute ride was sought and the old bike was cleared.
Golden Corral #1 finished in a time of 5:27 for an eventual third-place finish. Marysville Fire #1 was almost a minute behind.
With the potential for collisions or other accidents on wet ramps, soapy surfaces and rocky roads, Nation said the event organizers require participants to sign a fairly extensive waiver to participate.
They sign their lives away is what they do, he said. In the past weve had some major accidents.
He added that new obstacles are added and removed to level the playing field.
Although the tavern-hopping trike race of yore presents too much of a liability for sponsors to consider its revival, Steve Muller, a long-time race observer, said organizers have discussed bringing back one aspect of the old trike race a battle of the bands.
Nation said race organizers are working with the Strawberry Festival committee to implement some kind of battle of the bands.
Its something that were looking at to see if we can make it more of a community event, he said.