Saturday, March 17, 2007

SLIDESHOW/VIDEO | And they're off!

I have to say Macon, I was quite disappointed at this year's turnout of participants in the Cherry Blossom Bed Race. There were a ton of entries in last year's race, but this year only five teams came out to participate. There were supposed to be six teams, but the fire department backed out at the last minute. The race was still fun, and it still drew a good crowd to Third Street, though I don't think it was as big as last year's but that may have something to do with the windy weather.

Reigning champions Walthall Oil Co. won the race again this year, and even though I love their designs, someone needs to get out there and give them a run for their money. The team's time of 18.5 seconds was about 5 seconds faster than any other team's times. Their bed looks light, and actually looks nothing like a bed, but crew chief Tim Still, vice president of Walthall Oil, and Frank Walthall, president of the company, both said it was actually a bed - it was made from a hospital gurney to be more exact.


Here's a picture of the team below.

Team runners were Matt and Josh Still, Tim Still's sons who participate with him each year, Troy Climber and Chad Skinner. And they were smart, too - they put a woman, Amanda Brown, behind the wheel to guide them on a smooth path. Much smoother than the bed that was driven by the Middle Georgia Apartment Association, which wound it's way all over Cherry Street. Straight lines are so over-rated anyway! This is the Middle Georgia Apartment Association's bed below. Their time was 24.2 seconds, but they also won the Judge's Choice award.


They might have been really wobbly but they did make the race look like fun. And both Tim Still and Frank Walthall agreed that it's a lot of fun, and not necessarily about the winning - though it is good to win. Walthall said working on this event is a great way to bring the retail department and the wholesale people of their company together. He and Still both said they wished more Macon industries and companies would come and compete against them.

The company has been competing in the race for about 12 or 13 years, and has been pretty succesful. Still said he and his sons started working on this year's entry about three weeks ago, but they normally start planning two months ahead. Once they find out the theme, like this year's theme of 25 years of Cherry Blossom, they get down to work and let Katie Conner do all of the graphic part.

Other contestants in the bed race included the Macon-Bibb Transit Authority, which had a time of 23.08 seconds and was named the Most Original by the judges; Cricket Communications, which had a time of 24.26 seconds and was named Funniest by the judges; and the Robins Air Force Department's C-130 Paint Shop, which had a time of 23.24 seconds.


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