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Enchies win the Great Race for the 2nd year in a row

Manila Gorillas continue to inch higher in these great races – finishing second this year. (Photos by James Jordan)

by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Great Race trophy will continue to hold its place at The Dore Bar/Grill after repeating as Slate Creek Relay Champions Saturday in Wellington. The Enchies won last year too and this was their 10th championship in the 29 times the race has been run.

“It’s going back home,” team captain Kip Etter said after the event.

The top three teams separated themselves from the other four teams fairly early, and the Enchies managed to take the lead for good with four events left.

Enchies fill the cup for the second consecutive year and third time in six years.

In recent years there have been close finishes, and at times bad luck has changed the outcome of the race. This year there was not much drama, but the Enchies managed to win by completing the 13 events in 44 minutes and 58 seconds. The Enchies set the course records of 42 minutes several years ago.

The Enchies won by over a minute, with Manila Gorillas finishing second at 48:16. Security State Bank was third at 48:30.

Etter said it is hard to put together a team, and they had to do a little shuffling at the last minute. Several members from last year’s team returned and there were a few new people on the team.

Etter said the event is big for the community and it takes a lot of people to keep the event going.

“This really is a unique event. It is a positive for the community,” he said.

There are more than 100 volunteers and officials that help put the event on each year under the direction of founder of the race Jack Potucek. The event was started in the 1970s and had a several year break. This was the 29th edition of the race. Potucek honored the 50th anniversary of the moon landing at the event with t-shirts and he wore a moon on his head at the awards presentation.

Jack Potucek wore a moon mask on his head in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. 

Potucek thanked all the people involved, like the city, police, sanitation, sheriff and many others. He said Harold Spencer did a good job of taking care of areas where the Motorcross and cross country running events were held.

Those three teams were well ahead of the rest of the pack most of the way.

The Axis of Awesome finished fourth, followed by Impact Bank Dashing Dukes, Black Oak Striders and the Greeno Flameouts. The Striders were in third place after the first leg, but fell to sixth in the next leg and did not recover.

Impact Bank took a spill in the canoe race Saturday.

The Manilla Gorillas were first after the first leg, and the Enchies were second. The Enchies caught up on the second leg and fell to third in the fourth event which was the Motorcross.

The Enchies regained the lead in the 3/4 mile run, andd were in second through the horse race, bicycle race and the first one-mile run. The Enchies took the lead in the second-mile run and never trailed again. The team led through both canoe runs, the half-mile and the final event which was the 360 sprint.

Near the end the Enchies were clearly in first.

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