WTF Fun Fact 12903 – Annual T-Rex Race

After a brief pause during Covid, the annual T-Rex Race at Emerald Downs is back. Granted, you probably never noticed it was missing unless you live in or around Auburn, Washington or watched the viral video of the 2019 race.

The T-Rex Race

According to an Emerald Downs press release (cited below), the T-Rex Race “produced one of the most watched videos in the world in 2019” and “was viewed more than 100 million times on social media and was featured in People Magazine and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Newscasts from coast to coast and around the world covered the unique event.”

Somehow, we missed that. But I think we can all agree our lives have been infinitely improved by knowing such a thing exists.

In 2022, the race was bigger and better than ever:

“Not only is the event returning but three times as many T-Rexes are expected to race. As in past years the staff of Tri Guard Pest Control in Renton will be participating and for the first time the race is open to the public. Anyone dressed in an inflatable T-Rex costume may run. There will be a race for kid dinosaurs aged 16 and under and one race for adults,” noted the press release.

Bigger and better than ever

We got a kick out of the statement that “Track officials are expecting this to be the biggest Dinosaur race in the past 233 million years!” No doubt!

There were horse races at the track on the day of the race, but the T-Rex races took place after the third and fourth horse races of the day. There was a race for adults and a race for children – at 3:15 and 3:45 p.m.

A resident of Auburn, Washington, Logan Kludsikofsky, won the adult race while 13-year-old Sebastian Davis of Silverdale, Washington won the kid’s race.  WTF fun facts

Source: “T-Rex Race Returns Sunday, August 21!” — Emerald Downs

WTF Fun Fact 12734 – Man Wins Horse Race

For only the third time since 1980, a human has won the annual Man vs. Horse race. Ricky Lightfoot beat 50 horses (and 1000 other human runners) finishing the 22.5-mile course in 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 23 seconds. He won about $4200 for his efforts – as well as bragging rights amongst friends and foals alike.

IFL Science humorously recounted the beginning of the Man vs. Horse race:

“The idea for the race came, as you might expect, from a drunken argument in a pub. Landlord of the Neuadd Arms in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, overheard two customers arguing (as you do) over the benefits of people vs the benefits of horses. 

After a few more pints, as was inevitable, one of the men proclaimed that over a long distance people could equal the performance of any horse. Not satisfied with mere speculation, the landlord – Gordon Green – decided that there should be a public competition where this slurred theory could be tested. Every year since then – bar a few years where the event was canceled due to the pandemic – people have raced against horses in a constant battle for supremacy.”

Even more striking is the BBC report that “The winner of the grueling Man v Horse race has revealed he had been awake for 29 hours before the event after flying from Tenerife to claim victory…Landing at 04:00 he travelled to Wales, arriving at Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, at 09:00 for the race start at 11:00. Crossing the line, the 6ft 4in athlete had no idea whether he had won as the people and animals take slightly different routes.”

The 37-year-old firefighter and father of 2 beat the first horse by over 2 minutes. So much for horsepower.

Apparently, Lightfoot’s family couldn’t believe he managed to win the race.

“I called my partner and said: ‘I beat the horse’. And she said: ‘You’re joking?’.
“And I said: ‘No, I did.’ She was like, ‘oh my God!'” he told BBC News.

Prior to the race, Lightfoot said he didn’t have much experience around horses.

“I’ve never rode a horse in my life. I once rode a donkey at Blackpool Pleasure Beach though,” he told the BBC.

After winning, Lightfoot headed right back home to Cumbria to report to work at 7:30 am the next day. – WTF fun facts

Source: “Man v horse: Powys race won by runner Ricky Lightfoot” — BBC News

WTF Fun Fact 12412 – The Wonderful Betty White

Not one to claim she was just a “product of her time” when it came to race, Betty White went to bat for a talented tap dancer back in 1954. Despite attempts by others to keep Black dancer and singer Arthur Duncan off of her variety show, White decided to fight back by inviting him on every chance she could.

When networks and viewers in the South threatened to boycott “The Betty White Show” because of Duncan’s skin color, White said she replied: “I’m sorry, but, you know, he stays…Live with it.”

White died on Friday, just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday, news that prompted a look back on a career that included advocacy on many fronts.

Arthur Duncan also confirmed the story in 2017 on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots: Forever Young,” where he recalled: “I was on the show, and they had some letters out of Mississippi and elsewhere that some of the stations would not carry the show if I was permitted to stay on there. Well, Betty wrote back and said, ‘Needless to say, we used Arthur Duncan every opportunity we could.”

Betty White continued to invite Duncan on her show until it was canceled in 1954. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: ‘He stays’: Betty White refused to remove Black dancer from her show in 1954 — USA Today