FREDERICKTOWN — They were neither the longest or shortest races of the 37th Annual Fredericktown Tomato Show, distinctions held by the Five-Mile Run and Baby Crawl. They weren’t as cute as the Big Wheel races they followed on Saturday’s closing-day schedule. But for entertainment value you just couldn’t beat the traditional bathtub races.
Twenty teams in four divisions looped about 100 gentle downhill yards along North Main Street, negotiated a 180-degree hairpin turn and then slogged back to the start/finish line in a timed battle against gravity. Each team’s two pushers and driver faced contrasting challenges.
For pushers, the test was one of burning leg muscles. They ran behind heavy old-fashioned tubs fitted with four wheels, a simple steering mechanism and rear handle that was both accelerator and brakes: Push to go, tug to slow down. Meanwhile, cold muscles were the bane of drivers who sat and squirmed in a foot of ice water while steering.
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