Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown may have won yesterday's press conference, but can he win the race this coming Sunday?
Some unfinished business from the 2019 Great Cochrane Outhouse Race will be decided on main street in the Historic Downtown on Sept. 17 as to which mayor has the best Outhouse team.
Mayor Brown tossed a roll of toilet paper across the table to Mayor Jeff Genung, declaring he will be leaving as the undisputed champion of the Mayor's Challenge Race.
"This is truly a UFC moment," says Dan Kroffat, who has been involved in the Outhouse Race for about 10 years. "I feel like Dana White because I have the two combatants right here, face-to-face."
Mayor Brown says it's disputed who was in the lead when his craft suffered a mechanical failure that put an end to the race prematurely. The mayor was injured in the crash but he hasn't hesitated to return to settle once and for all the question that has been lingering for four years.
Brown says there's no question he was in the lead before the crash occurred.
"My belief is that I was going to win the race before our cart malfunctioned. Jeff has argued that he was way ahead of us, yet the video taken by our Airdrie photographer and videographer clearly showed I was ahead."
Mayor Genung insists that wasn't the case, and he's eager to set the record straight.
"This is a Cochrane race, and we are very proud of our heritage. When we get to the start line on Sunday afternoon, it's going to be hard. Peter and I have a really good relationship...
"Not anymore," injected Mayor Brown, to chuckles.
"We work well together, but this is different," continued Mayor Genung.
Mayor Genung says it's all going to come down to the corners.
"That's a strong hairpin at the end of main street and then coming back the opposition direction," says seasoned Outhouse racer Genung. "I hope Peter's ready for it because I've been to many Outhouse Races here in Cochrane and he's only been to one, and he hasn't even seen the finish of it."
Bragging rights and a little public humiliation are on the line. Whichever mayor loses will have to wear the other community's shirt to a council meeting, declare they lost the race, and shout out praise to the winner.
Teasing Kroffat about his long-winded presentation, Brown said he would accept the friendly bet, providing he gets to write his own speech.
The Mayor's Challenge is going to be a sudden-death, winner-takes-all race that is the finale of the afternoon.
"Given how things went down the last time we had the mayors face-off, we knew we wanted to allow them a chance to show who has the gumption to take the other on," says Rotarian Chris Heier.
"We'll properly finish this race and the winner will finally be declared. This is basically part 2 of a to-be-continued story that we're absolutely looking forward to seeing. It's just going to be a great day."
Heier is fired up about having 20 teams race before to the mayors' event. He says they organized a last-minute, smaller post-COVID event last year, but this time around the community is all in.
It starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday on 1st St. W.
"We'll have our Parade of Outhouses happening before the races begin, so all the teams that are showing up will basically do their run around the track with our bagpiper. There will be food trucks at the event as well, so there are plenty of opportunities to bring the family out, watch the races, cheer on your favorite team of the various local businesses participating, and enjoy some food and music while you're there."
The teams will be gunning to dethrone Cochrane Toyota, who won last year's race.
Rocky Mountain Rotary Club president Tyler Hebblethwaite says all the pieces are falling into place for a great afternoon.
"Chris (Heier) is doing a great job getting the races kicked off and everything lined up," says Hebblethwaite. "We've got some good exciting events coming up for the rest of the year, so we're really looking forward to it."
Proceeds will help support the many community projects of the Rocky Mountain Rotary Club.
Kroffat also announced who he'll be calling the race with this year.
"Over the years, I've had the privilege of calling the Outhouse Races with some great co-hosts. I've had Joe Carbury. I've had John Cornish, I've had Paul Dunphy from Global TV, and this year, when you want things to be great and better, we'll have Eric and Lauren here from Cochrane Now. I'm excited about them joining us this year."
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