It was race day in Shaunavon, but it wasn’t exactly a typical car or horse race.
People from southwestern Saskatchewan gather in Shaunavon to take part in Boomtown Days, a weekend of fun and activities that includes a rodeo and, among other things, lawn mower races.
This is the second year that the lawn mower races have been held, according to Riley Kornfield, one of the organizers and participants of the races.
“We wanted to bring something else to Boomtown Days to try to get people to Shaunavon,” Kornfield told CBC Radio. Saskatchewan Weekend.
“We threw in a few different ideas and at the end of the day we all really liked the idea of the lawn mower race and went from there.”
Kornfield said last year that 17 lawn mowers entered the race last year.
These aren’t your typical lawn mowers though.
Watch: Runners test the new race track
“Some people spend a lot of hours on their lawn mower. You can do a quick weekend project or you can spend months on it,” Kornfield said. “My approach last year was pretty quick and maybe not the best lawn mower on the market.”
He said this year he took a different path and built a competitive lawn mower. Last year, the top speed was 41 kilometers per hour; this year, Kornfield expected to see something a little faster than that.
That’s because organizers have built a new track, specifically for lawn mower racing, according to Kornfield, who said the machines can reach speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour.
The race is not free for everyone either.
Kornfield said runners should wear appropriate goggles, helmets and clothing. Lawn mowers should also have some sort of automatic shut-off switch that activates when operators fall from their machine.
Part of what bowled Kornfield about last year’s race was the attendance of spectators. The organizers expected 200 or 300 people to show up – they saw almost 1,000 people coming to watch the races.
To top it off, the run is a fundraising event to help fund various projects in the city and all of those extra spectators have helped in his efforts to give back to his community, according to Kornfield.
In this weekend’s race, Kornfield “broke” in third place behind winner Jeff Ellis and runner-up Chris Grant, both of Calgary.