Do you have what it takes to be a freak’n farmer?
By Monique Tamminga.
In a world full of mud races and obstacle courses, the Home Hardware Freak’n Farmer is tougher than the Mudder, more fun than Spartan and more memorable than any foam run, says organizers of the Saturday, Sept. 21 Okanagan race.
In this course, you will run through vineyard and orchard carrying a huge zucchini, drag your body in the mud under bob wire, only to crash down in the mud some more, climb a rope wall and pull a pick up truck. If you can do all that, you can call yourself a Freak’ n Farmer!
This is the eighth year Penticton’s Hoodoo Adventures has put on the Freak’ N Farmer race at the Coverts’ 600-acre organic farm in Oliver. With each year, the number of people wanting to get their freak’n farmer on keeps growing.
“We will have nearly 1,000 kids do the course between the Freak’n Little Farmer on race day and the schools that come and take part in the course the week before,” said Lydia Hill who co-owns Hoodoo Adventures with her husband Mike. “On top of that we will have as many as 400 adults and another 300 spectators on the day.”
If you are crazy enough to participate, you or you and your team will take on 35 farm-related obstacles, including massive water crossings, full size pick up truck pulls, axe throwing and even a giant mud swing using a full size excavator. Then just slide down the slip and slide finish line and get to the after party where plenty of local wines, ciders and beers will be poured.
The Freak’n Farmer is a down home, old-fashioned event with a fun atmosphere and great vibe, said Lydia. Live bands will be playing and there will be food trucks, local craft beer, and award-winning wine made right on the property.
Hoodoo Adventures wanted a way to celebrate the hard work that goes into farming.
“The Coverts had done one of our other events and really wanted to do something on the farm that paid homage to the hard work that goes on there while also highlighting all the fun that can be had on a farm,” said Lydia. “At the time mud runs and obstacle races were becoming a big thing so we thought that doing that style of race with farm type chores would be an awesome fit… and it is!”
It’s a whole family affair too. Kids can get dirty and so can moms and dads.
“We love the camaraderie, the costumes, the smiles and definitely the whole family involvement. We just love all of it really!”
There are three courses available, five kilometres, 12 km and 20 km. There is also races for ‘mini farmers’ of ages 3-6 and ages 6-12 where they have to run 3.4 km. The Big kid course is for 13 to 16 and is 5 km of running.
The kids are broken into age groups, with the littles going through tunnels, tires and the slip and slide finish line. The older kids face mud, rope swings and climbing walls.
Most teams dress up in costumes and everybody gets dirty!
It’s the after-party where you get to sit back and cheers all you’ve accomplished.
“We have a great group of local breweries, ciders and vendors that really make the after party special, and paired with a rock’n band, it is an absolute blast and the best way to sit around with your team and celebrate what you have just achieved,”she said.
Partial proceeds from the event go to local charities that are a good fit with promoting active lifestyles for all.
“Each year we make a donation to a few different charities. The one most near and dear to our heart is the Youth Outdoor Recreation Society, a not-for-profit that helps us get kids active in the outdoors,” said Lydia. “This year the Society helped to assist over 100 kids play in the wild! We also give back to the local ski club.”
The Freak’n Farmer would not be possible without all the volunteers and construction crews that put together the obstacles each year, said Lydia.
“We want to thank all the construction and local companies who come together to help us build obstacles, supply equipment and support the race. We also want to give special thanks to Home Hardware. This event would not be possible without them.”
Spectators are welcome but must make a minimum donation of $5 with all those funds going directly to the Youth Outdoor Recreation Society.
Another part of the success of this race is volunteers. It’s a really fun job whether you are manning the mud, the finish line or checking times or helping sign people in. Join the fun and volunteer.
To register for the Freak’n Farmer or to volunteer go freaknfarmer.ca.