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Lake George outhouse race pitted 'newbies' against veteran competitors

In the annual outhouse race at the Lake George Winter Carnival Saturday, Lake George Fire Department members pulling their hydrant-shaped outhouse are surpassed in a preliminary heat by members of the Out of Control Ski Club of Albany (foreground). The Lake George firefighters were hampered by the constrictions of their firefighting gear and the weight of their fireplug-on-skis.

In the annual outhouse race at the Lake George Winter Carnival Saturday, Lake George Fire Department members pulling their hydrant-shaped outhouse are surpassed in a preliminary heat by members of the Out of Control Ski Club of Albany (foreground). The Lake George firefighters were hampered by the constrictions of their firefighting gear and the weight of their fireplug-on-skis. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Curtis Condon of Adirondack Studios stood on the ice of Lake George Saturday, watching various teams haul their homemade outhouses into position for elimination heats in the annual Lake George Winter Carnival outhouse race as hundreds of people cheered intermittently.

Condon, the paint shop foreman for the famed scenery design firm, had two outhouse teams entered — a craft titled “Bat Girl” craft and another named “TNT.”

Condon has been responsible, Adirondack Studios owner Tom Lloyd explained from the sidelines, for the firm’s 12 years of victories — or near-wins — in the Lake George outhouse races.

Condon has a taste for speed, Lloyd explained. As a hobby, Condon builds competition race cars.

The studio’s TNT entry was modified this year to gain a fraction of a second in speed. The back wall of the outhouse was re-designed this year to split and swing open as it took off from the finish line, Condon explained.

“It’s a matter of cutting air resistance,” he said.

Glancing at the team from Sans Souci Restaurant of Cleverdale — with its runners garbed in pink tutus — Condon said long-standing outhouse race had an unwritten code of conduct, and competitors have respect for each other’s team and their entries.

“It’s important if you win, you don’t rub it in,” he said. “We’re here primarily to have fun.”

Helping push one of the Adirondack Studios’ contraptions were Kyland Rafferty, Josh Beadnell along with Olin Ellsworth, a professional rodeo competitor who tours nationally.

“Steer wrestling is ‘kid stuff’ compared to pushing an outhouse across ice,” he said as he examined the roofing screws embedded in the soles of his shoes.

New in the celebrated race this year was an entry from northern Warren County. It was the brainchild of Amy Sabattis of North River, who is an employee of Warren County Cornell Cooperative Extension in Warrensburg.

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