Enter the World of Lawn Mower Racing
When mowing your lawn, have you ever pretended you were a race car driver? It’s okay to admit that you have. The roar of the engine. The thrill of the chase. The screams from the crowd. Racing is certainly exciting. If you ever imagined yourself racing while mowing, you are not alone. Some of us do more than imagine ourselves racing: some people race lawn mowers professionally.
What is the world of professional lawn mower racing like?
- Lawn Mower racing began in the United States in 1963 in Twelve Mile, Indiana. Each year, the Twelve Mile 500 is held on Independence Day. The sport has grown and there are now lawn mower races all over the United States.
- Lawn mower racing began in the United Kingdom in 1973 near West Sussex. After a few pints, a group of men at the Cricketers Arms pub formed the British Lawn Mower Racing Association. While the Twelve Mile 500 predates the BLMRA, most modern Lawn Mower Racing Organizations worldwide trace their lineage to the BLMRA.
- The mowers used in lawn mower races can’t actually cut grass. The blades are removed from the mowers to prevent the racers from injuring themselves should the mowers crash while racing.
- You may think that lawn mowers are not very fast. You are wrong. Racing lawn mowers can reach speeds near 60 miles per hour.
- For racing fans, part of the appeal of lawn mower racing is the low barrier of entry. While racing cars is prohibitively expensive, getting involved in lawn mower racing is far cheaper.
- Correspondingly, the prizes involved in lawn mower racing are far smaller than those in other racing sports. Winners of lawn mower races generally win a trophy and bragging rights.
- Interesting fact: In 2007 Xbox released a video game called Lawn Mower Racing Mania.
- Lawn mower racing featured prominently on an episode of the TV show “Home Improvement” when the main character Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor raced handyman/celeb Bob Vila on a lawn mower that the show had borrowed from the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association.
Photo Credit: © Plutor