A quarter-century tradition packed the main drag of the Historic Downtown with lots of thrills and fortunately no spills in the Great Cochrane Outhouse Race, Sept. 17.
There were plenty of iconic moments in the event that saw 18 teams wheel their themed outhouses for about a block and back again on main street.
Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown had a chance to set the record straight as to who's the top Outhouse pilot in the Mayor's Challenge. With the steady horsepower of Jr. B Airdrie Thunder players and last-minute recruit speedy Paul Singh, his team won, answering a question left tangling since 2019.
In the main race, a top-notch crew from the Cochrane Toyota Ballers helped Cochrane Toyota successfully defend its title from last year. Hands down, it was the Cochrane Public Library that had the funniest entry, stopping their Dr. Seuss (Cat in the Hat) inspired entry at mid-race for storytime.
It also marked the return of the Old West Raiders, who staged an unsuccessful robbery of the Half Hitch Outhouse and then collected about $1,000 from the crowd for charity.
Vice-president Doug Rodenbush says the organization is known for its charity work. They have been here several times in the past, and eagerly await the call.
"Usually we rob one of the outhouses and that's it. Then we go to the crowd. But this year, we didn't like the idea of them cheating, using their chuckwagon to do this, so we had a couple of us good guys come to break it down for them."
The Old West Raiders are also known for their shows downtown Calgary during eight of the 10-day run of the Calgary Stampede.
Mayors Peter Brown and Jeff Genung had plenty of fun leading up to their race, the afternoon finale.
Genung successfully recruited runners from the Cochrane Cobras, pointing out it's the home of the George McDougall Chargers. Brown recruited players from the Airdrie Thunder, rivals of the Cochrane Generals. It's the Thunder jersey Mayor Jeff Genung will be wearing in town council chambers to proclaim Brown the winner.
In the end, it was the hairpin turn at the halfway mark of the course that proved to be the difference in the otherwise tight race, something Mayor Genung had predicted.
Satisfied with raising the cup, Mayor Brown at first hesitated but then agreed to come back next year.
"I told my wife I'm going to retire from this, but you know, yes, I will be back," he said to loud applause.
Event chair Chris Heier says they had a great team come together, who at times had to think on their feet.
"The crowd was great. I love that we had a huge crowd here and everybody seemed to fall into it. They were fantastic."
Dan Kroffat has been playing an instrumental role for years and will be stepping away completely next year. Heier says they are already thinking about the next one.
"We're going to try and take the good, bad, and ugly from this and see what we can do next year to make this an even better event."
A final tally for the event isn't available, but all proceeds are going towards the community projects of the Rocky Mt. Rotary Club