Fun in the mud at Whitehorse’s annual mud bog races

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Ian Nichols makes a big splash with his truck, Black Betty, during the 2019 Whitehorse mud bogs on Sept. 7, 2019.
Crystal Schick/Yukon News Denys Brais changes a tire on his mud bog vehicle, Dragula, during the 2019 competition in Whitehorse on Sept. 7, 2019.
Crystal Schick/Yukon News Clayton Zimmermann with his ‘85 Blazer, left, pushes Dustin Robitaille driving The Black Widow out of the mud bog pit in Whitehorse on Sept. 7, 2019.
Crystal Schick/Yukon News Fraser Lang drives Silent Assassin with Orion Wanner along for the ride at the 2019 Whitehorse mud bogs on Sept. 7, 2019.
Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse mud bogs on Sept. 7, 2019.
Crystal Schick/Yukon News The driver and passenger hold up two fingers to indicate they made it through the mud bog in two-wheel-drive in Whitehorse on Sep. 7, 2019.

The 2019 Whitehorse Mud Bogs were held in Whitehorse just off Robert Service Way on Sept. 7 as drivers competed in three categories to wow the crowd and win the day.

Coordinator Tamara Fischer said this year’s event went very well.

“(It was) wonderful,” said Fischer. “It was a great group of drivers (and) a great audience.”

Holding the event so late in the year was a change from previous years, but Fischer said that the crowd was bigger, if changed at all, this year.

“I feel like it was a little bit bigger maybe this year,” said Fischer. “But it fluctuates each year. … We were always questioning our date with all the fun things that are going on in the Yukon.”

When it’s super nice out, people want to be off enjoying the wilderness, she explained.

“It really just depends on … what’s going on,” said Fischer. “This year we had the (Klondike Road Relay), last year we were on the same weekend as the Dawson City Music Festival. (The turnout) really depends on what crowd is town.”

A dozen trucks were entered in the competition, split into categories based on tire size.

In the 33 inches (84 centimetres) and smaller category, Clayton Zimmermann’s ’85 Blazer was the winner. Second place went to Rebecca Hansen driving Mud Boggin Mama, and Erik Vonflotow in Voodoo Rasta finished third.

Moving up in wheel size, the winner of the 34 to 37 inch (86 to 94 cm) category was a tie between Denys Brais driving Dragula and Andrew Seal driving a 7.3 Ford. Fraser Lang driving Silent Assassin finished second, and Alex Hornby driving The Side Chick finished third.

Lastly, in the 38 inches (97 cm) and larger category, Noel Mason won driving Dirty Mudder Trucker. Rene Robitaille driving Mud Whisperer finished second, and the father-daughter duo of Dave and Rebecca Fleshman driving Major Mud finished third.

Other than the change in date, Fischer said this year’s event was largely unchanged from past years — “We’re just doing the same thing that’s been going on for years; playing in the mud” — although she said the children’s area is slowly growing over time.

“That’s kind of an ongoing growing thing. This year I did a lot more crafty things,” said Fischer. “It was the second year we put up a loader tire with sand for a sandbox.”

The sandbox was full of toy cars and other things to amuse and occupy Whitehorse’s youngest.

The goal is to really have something for everyone in the family, and continue to expand the mud bogs.

“We’ve talked about doing two mud bogs and talked about doing one later in the season, so this was a really good trail run to see what the turnout would be,” said Fischer. “It’s something we would like to grow into a bigger event, like an all-weekend kind of thing.”

For now though, Fischer said seeing the audience — particularly the younger members — enjoy itself is the best part.

“You get to see kids enjoying (the event.) It’s something a lot of Yukoners… really enjoy partaking in, whether it’s watching or being involved,” said Fischer. “It just seems to be something the community really likes to get involved in.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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