In 1963 Georg Herrmann introduced the wheelbarrow races as one of the Kirchweih highlights. The slope was then in the center of the village, on what is now Michelfelder Strabe. Since 1976, however, the wheelbarrow race has been moved next to the festival site at the seepage hall and the fire station. And there was a lot going on there again on Monday afternoon.
"With the move, the race has also changed", Former local spokesman Erwin Sauerbrey tells us. The materials used until then – iron-tyred gardener’s wheelbarrows with Wengertspfahl laid lengthwise as a load – proved to be too dangerous in the event of a fall. Sauerbrey complains that at that time older seepage houses also competed, this has also changed. Today, young people are more likely to meet for competition.
The wheelbarrow race as it was held on Monday as the closing event of the church fair has thus completely changed its appearance.
Water instead of pole
The wooden wheelbarrow was replaced by metal and rubber-tired wheelbarrows. Instead of a heavy and unwieldy Wengerts stake, a bucket of water is carried over the obstacle course in School Street.
As in previous times, Monday’s race was about the best time from start to finish with the aim of spilling as little water as possible. Four crosswise wooden slats, some pylons, which had to be passed once on the right, once on the left, as well as a seesaw, over which the wheelbarrow had to be moved, demanded all concentration. Otherwise, the ride quickly turned into a spectacle for the spectators with laughter and applause.
Holger Gringel is the fastest
The wheelbarrow races were held as village championships with an award ceremony in the evening in the seepage hall. The omnipresent surveyors and the village youth made sure that, if possible, candidates of the same age always competed against each other. The fastest of all participants was Holger Gringel with a time of 34.88 seconds, making him the first to win the newly created challenge cup. Also for the first time partners started to a relay race, here Tamara and Philip Bruhler entered themselves as the first in the winner lists.
In the past, it was the mayor and his deputy, the board members of the local clubs and otherwise citizens of the same age who contested the race. Today, children are already practicing and steering their wheelbarrows over a shortened course without pylons and seesaws and – much to the delight of some worried mothers – without a water bucket on the wheelbarrow.
Since the fun is not to be neglected, there are watery scenes on the course when a vehicle – as can be seen several times – tips off the seesaw at full speed or when the roof battens laid out turn out to be extremely difficult obstacles to overcome.