Ice Ice Lawnmower Races, Baby

A stiff wind blew tiny ice pellets off the Bay and threatened to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered there for the first annual Ice Lawnmower Races at Geano Beach.

But, in Wisconsin, we’re like human Gore-Tex, weather resistant and ready for fun. Also,  on a Saturday afternoon in February, with the Packer season long over and Opening Day still weeks away, we need a creative outlet to keep our cheering muscles loose.

With its fearless drivers and souped up machines, the Wisconsin Ice Lawnmower Racing Association (WILMRA) fit the bill. The opening round involved children, cute little cherubs who smiled sweetly as they headed toward their mowers and then tore up the course.

I watched a young man use a bungee cord to secure the hood of a woman’s lawnmower just before she raced. “That can’t be good,” I thought. Of course, I thought wrong.

The Number 40 mower blew away her competition in every race I saw. At one point, she double-lapped a competitor.

I cheered, shot some photos, entertained my husband with a little play-by-play and then, when I could not feel my face anymore, I made my way into the mercifully warm Geano Beach Bar and Grill where we secured prime seats between a bay-facing window and the fireplace.

Bliss.

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I enjoyed the “Zamboni”. I think this shot shows that, beyond the temporary course on Green Bay lies a vast, beautiful, frozen bay.
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A post-race shot
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They tied a bungee cord around the hood of this mower and I thought it was hampered in some way…apparently not.
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The Number 40 mower won two of the races I saw, lapping several competitors.
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I liked the handy cup holder on this mower, but I’m not so sure about the dangling cig.
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While I was watching the races, this motorcycle road past. Crazy, right? For my Southern friends, that’s an ice shanty in the background.
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They look sweet all lined up at the start don’t they?
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But they race like champs. See the green lawnmower in second to last place?
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Guess who won his heat?
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The races appealed to fans of all ages. (It is an optical illusion that this little guy is holding a beer in his giant hand. The little boy has blue gloves on and the hand belongs to the man next to him. What a cutie, right?
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The WILMRA stresses safety gear. Everyone wears a helmet and all the mowers are checked ahead of the race.
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I liked this mower.
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A good crowd of all ages braved the weather and enjoyed the show.
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But, once I could no longer feel my face, I preferred the view from inside.

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