Outhouse race novice ready to roll
October 2, 2007
After two years of watching the racers at the annual Virginia City Outhouse Races each October, Matt Tilley of Mark Twain decided that crap looked like fun.
So this year he will enter his first race with the Haunted Outhouse, complete with fictionalized 1800s storyline.
“We’re trying to incorporate a little history,” he said. “We made up a story that will go with it. It’s a haunted outhouse and the theme is that Julie Bulette made a wish on it for anyone who was building or touching the outhouse to have bad luck, because the guy that built the outhouse kept her up after a hard night’s work. All the hammering in the morning kept her awake.”
Julia Bulette was a famous 1860s Virginia City prostitute who was murdered.
The Haunted Outhouse is a contraption built with old pieces of fence, an old hand cart and an old bicycle.
“I just pieced it together,” he said, adding that the Haunted Outhouse had both steering and brakes.
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Actually Tilley had help, his grandchildren, Jimmie Motley, 8, and Randy Motley, 6, helped him sand, clean, stain and decorate the outhouse.
“It looks like a real outhouse until you open it up,” he said.
Tilley, a state worker, said watching others have fun in past years inspired him to build the outhouse.
“We came up and we saw the last couple years, and we talked to some of the people and it seemed like a great group of people to be associated with,” he said.
Tilley will be joined by Shelly Williams and Joy Trushenski in the races, and is looking for more team members to help push.
“I’m still finding pushers, but I’ll have them by next week,” he said.
He said his coworkers are as into the outhouse race as he is.
“They’re looking forward to it,” he said. “They’re donating money to the cause and hopefully they’re going to show up.”
Virginia City’s World Championship Outhouse Races began in the early 1990s, when county officials abolished the use of outhouses. Townspeople decided they could not part with their beloved outhouses and decided to recycle them into a race through the center of town each year.
The races will take place this weekend, beginning with a parade at noon Saturday, followed by the races beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing every half-hour until 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, the races begin at noon, with the semifinals and finals expected to commence about 2 p.m., depending on the number of outhouses entered.
Organizer Millie Batchelor said 10 outhouses are expected, and last-minute entries are welcome so long as they are registered by 9 a.m. Saturday. The “pit” area for the Outhouse Races is the Bucket of Blood parking lot on the corner of Union and C streets, Virginia City.
Entry forms and rules are posted on Virginia City’s Web site at http://www.VisitVirginiaCityNV.com or at the Virginia City Visitors Center, 86 South C Street.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.
If you go
WHAT: Virginia City Outhouse Races
WHEN: Parade begins at noon Saturday, races at 1 p.m. Semifinals and championship races begin at noon Sunday
WHERE: C Street in Virginia City; staging area is the Bucket of Blood parking lot
CALL: 847-4FUN or 800-718-SLVR.