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'WEIRDO' SORT OF FUN: Annual Running of the Tubs draws large crowds, field of entries

by Tanner Newton The Sentinel-Record | June 2, 2019 at 7:18 a.m.
The Sentinel-Record/Tanner Newton WIERDOS: The Austin Weirdos compete Saturday morning in the 14th annual Stueart Pennington's World Championship Running of the Tubs in downtown Hot Springs. The team was crowned World Champions in the Modified Tub Division.

Record crowds and a record number of entrants showed up Saturday morning for the 14th annual Stueart Pennington's World Championship Running of the Tubs in downtown Hot Springs.

By the end of the wild and wet event, two teams were declared world champions, one of them local and one of them from Texas.

Bill Solleder, director of marking for Visit Hot Springs, said that this was the largest field that the event has hosted, with 11 new teams racing bathtubs down Central Avenue. Solleder also said that this was the largest turnout for the event.

The racecourse, Central Avenue in front of Bathhouse Row, was "just packed with people the whole way," Solleder said.

Solleder was also pleased that there were two out-of-state teams participating this year. For the third year in a row, the Austin Weirdos from Texas raced, and this year a team from Louisiana also showed up. Solleder said that as more teams from out of state enter the race, the larger the event will continue to grow.

The Weirdos had a long drive to get from Austin to Hot Springs, but it turned out to be worth it, as they were crowned World Champions in the Modified Tub Division. Jen Guerra with the Weirdos said that they originally heard about the race online, and decided it would be fun to try.

"It's just super fun," Guerra said.

The winner of World Champions in the Traditional Tub Division was the team from Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium. Team captain Jessi Simon said she knew that the team would win, and she said that she enjoyed racing.

"Best fun of our lives," Simon said.

The event had several judges working it. One was Maxwell Blade, namesake of Maxwell Blade Theatre of Magic, who agreed that the event is growing and said it was an amazing event. Fellow judges Davis Tillman and Don Gooch agreed.

"I love it," Tillman said.

"I think it is the quirkiest event I've ever been able to participate in," Gooch said.

Other winners included Treasure Isle RV Park, for Most Original Tub; Hale Entertainment and the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa tied for Most Spirited Tub; Window Mart, for Best Overall Tub; T.A.C.O. (Trails Advocacy Coalition of the Ouachitas) won the inaugural Stock Tub division; and Hot Springs Police Department would win the annual Battle of the Badge against the Hot Springs Fire Department.

Local on 06/02/2019

Print Headline: 'WEIRDO' SORT of Fun: Annual Running of the Tubs draws large crowds, field of entries

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