Hayward Days: Kicking up mud at the bog races

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 16, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

HAYWARD &045; Crowds gathered at the edge of town despite the 91 degree heat, just to watch the mud fly.

One of the most popular events of Hayward Days every year is the mud bog race, where ATVs and trucks struggled to roll through three feet of dirt, mud and water.

&8220;Might as well do it in a sanctioned event,&8221; said Steve Cole of Alden. &8220;It’s gonna be a blast!&8221;

Cole was scheduled to drive his 2005 Chevrolet Z-71 through the muck in the afternoon, after all the ATVs were finished.

Driving the ATVs was a different proposition altogether. During a single heat, drivers not only sent plenty of mud flying into the air &045; onto spectators and race personnel &045; but they also got covered in mud themselves. After two runs through the mud, sometimes it was hard to tell that the drivers were there underneath all the dirt.

&8220;I’ve never seen it before, so it’s kind of neat, to get all muddy,&8221; said Nikki Broitzman of Glenville.

Each ATV driver went through both sides of the track once, and the total times were combined to see who won.

Trucks had to make a hairpin turn and go down both sides of the track for a single race. There were eight different classes to race ATVs in, and two truck classes, and those who won first, second and third place received trophies.

There were about 50 drivers.

The spectator stands were packed with people, and more watchers brought their own chairs and parked themselves near the end of the race where they could see the chunks of earth fly.

The two officials who kept time for the heats stood between the two tracks, and every time a driver passed them by, they got splattered with mud.

Nick Anderson, 11, of Glenville liked seeing the drivers get muddy.

&8220;I’ve got my own Suzuki 250,&8221; Anderson said.

He added that he may be racing himself in the future.

Near the spectator parking, Northstar Powersports had set up ATVs for sale, showing clean Yamahas and Polaris vehicles that looked very different from the ATVs that had just taken a dip in the mud.

On the other side of the parking lot, the Hayward Fire Department set up a stand and sold bratwurst and pork patty sandwiches for $3, but the most popular item they sold on that hot, sunny day was water.

&8220;Make sure you stay hydrated! We don’t want you to collapse or anything!&8221; said the announcer. &8220;Of course, if you do we’ll take your stuff!&8221;

The crowd laughed, but for the most part people did keep a beverage on hand to prevent heat-related health problems from getting in the way of the mid-summer fun.

&8220;It’s fun to go fast and get muddy,&8221; said driver Cameron Schember of Geneva.