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Cardboard goes wacky in sled race

March 01, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- There's no time to be graceful when you're sliding down a hill on cardboard and duct tape in less than 15 seconds.

Most of the contraptions debuted Sunday demonstrated how the Cedar Ridge Wild & Wacky Cardboard Sled Derby got its name. The homemade sleds often spun their riders in circles or wedged themselves on snowy berms.

Fifty-eight entrants submitted sleds big and small for the event hosted on the snowtubing hill at Whitetail Resort. The annual event serves as a fundraiser for Williamsport's Cedar Ridge Ministries and its ropes course.

"This is starting to build, and we hope to keep building as the years go by," said Beth Schroyer, an executive assistant at Cedar Ridge.

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This year's derby was expanded to include Christian music bands and snowman-building and tug-of-war contests.

The fastest sled was "Racing the Rain," which reached the finish line in 13 seconds. An "F-22 Raptor" took best of show.

Judges awarded Newcomer Associates for being "most creative," and Blake and Dad for "best original design." A train sled nicknamed "Derailed" took the "crowd-pleaser" award.

Paul Frey, Rodney Denlinger and Gabe Martin spent six evenings working on their Jeep entered through Salem Ridge Mennonite Church of Greencastle, Pa. They decided to make a Jeep when looking at the square box that formed the sled's body.

"We let our box dictate what we made," Frey said.

They did add one feature by attaching a moveable cardboard tube to the bottom.

"We've got steering," Denlinger said, as he demonstrated how it was supposed to work.

The trio had never entered the race before and wasn't sure what to expect.

"If we don't win, we can tow out the others," Denlinger said, yanking on the front hook of the "Jeep."

The Moffitt family from Hagerstown entered a Noah's Ark sled for its first race.

"I'm the Dad. I supervised this operation," Tim Moffitt said, introducing his sons, Austin and Jacob.

He revealed the family's planned race technique -- "just hold on tight."

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