Valemount is preparing to host one of the fastest northern mud races again this year – with a bullarama for even more flying dirt.
The races at the Canoe Mountain Rodeo Grounds in Vale¬mount July 30-31st will host a new three-foot deep bog pit two feet deeper than the regular 200 foot long track, says Dave Biddlecombe, president of the North West Mud Racing Association.
The new bog pit will be a gnarlier way to entertain the crowd, with three feet of mud to bring their powerful mud racing machines to a halt.
The races will offer up $6,000 in prize money for the 75-100 racers who come from all over western Canada.
“It’s great to be able to bring some of the fastest vehicles to Valemount. The racers love having a fast pit,” Biddlecombe says.
The regular mud bog this weekend is a 200-foot long pit that is roto-tilled a foot deep. Thousands of gallons of water are added to keep it muddy. Still, racers at last year’s event in Valemount set several track records for speed.
Biddlecombe says with vehicles like his, it’s all about the power. The only control you have is lifting the gas pedal, he says. For about a quarter of the pit, there are no tires on the ground, and for a good chunk of it, there are only two.
“If you take your foot off the gas, you’re guaranteed to lose.”
While members of the mud racing association will be travelling to Valemount, anyone is welcome to race. Any vehicle is welcome, but all are inspected for safety. Extra safety measures apply to vehicles that are not insurable. Vehicles can run up to 3000 horsepower in the unlimited class, and will reach 200 kilometres an hour after 200 feet.
He offers a word of caution to people thinking of entering their brand new street-class 4×4. Mud can clog up sensors, and be impossible to clean.
“The truck won’t necessarily be the same,” he says and laughs.
The gates open on Saturday July 30th at 11 am and the races will last about four and a half hours. On Sunday, the race begins at noon and will last about four and a half hours again.
Street class vehicles and quads are welcome, but have to register by 10 a.m. Saturday. There will also be beer gardens which opens at 11 am Saturday and Sunday, and a dance Saturday at 9 pm. with the band Union Jack.
Autographs will be signed at half time and special souvenir T-shirts available. Waivers must be signed by all participants and spectators. General admission is $20 per day. Kids under 7 are free. The bullarama will start at 6pm on Saturday followed by the dance.