This year's races brought out a grudge match between last year's second-place Super Poopers and the winning Kentucky Tech Express. After weeks of time trials, the Tech Express team was ready. Their runners bent low over the handles and dug deep, sending the Supers down the hole in their first race.
"We had a lot of heart," said Express member Adam Scott, still panting from his dash.
In their next race, the Tech Express team crossed the finish line yards ahead of Can-Am Arctic Express.
Tech Express potty jockey April Bryant said she knew her team was set to win half-way through the race.
"We were so far ahead, I thought about yelling to them to slow down and save some of their energy," said Bryant.
John Coffey scribbled Express's name down in the winner's bracket before calling for the next heat. After 10 years of watching and racing, he said each year brings something new to the show.
"I've seen them (outhouses) fall apart coming down the track. The most memorable race was when the boys fell down and the outhouse actually ran over them," said Coffey.
As races continued into the afternoon, Penn's Store owners Jeanne Penn Lane and Dawn Osborn-Grass watched from the sidelines. Lane said she was happy with the festival's turnout this year and had been expecting some changes in the schedule.
"Every year is unique, and no matter how much you plan, they seem to have a life of their own. You try to schedule, but basically, life schedules it," said Lane. With unexpected surprises at each festival, Lane has learned to let next year's festival, and outhouse entries, take on a life of its own.
"Improvisation is key,' said Lane. "It is definitely key."
Emily Burton can be reached at email@example.com.