Foul weather can't sully annual 'Oh Fuuudge' race

2013-12-14T18:00:00Z 2013-12-15T00:25:06Z Foul weather can't sully annual 'Oh Fuuudge' raceRob Earnshaw Times Correspondent
December 14, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND │Oh Fuuudge! Even Ralphie and his dad didn’t have to change a tire in these conditions.

Wintry weather, however, didn’t deter families participating in the “Oh Fuuudge!” Tire Relay Race on Saturday at the Indiana Welcome Center.

The race depicts the tire-changing scene from the holiday classic “A Christmas Story!” Parent/child teams race to see who can “change a tire” and run through an obstacle course of tires while holding a hubcap filled with lug nuts the fastest.

While the snow created a more Christmas-like atmosphere for the movie-related event, it made it more challenging for the children, including Kylee Marshall, 7, of Munster, who lost a boot during her run. Even Flick would have been proud of her as she soldiered on with only a sock.

Kylee’s mom, Paige Gramenz, said they tried to prepare for the race by watching previous videos from the contest on YouTube.

“In the video it wasn’t snowing,” Gramenz said.

Gramenz said the race is something different for the holiday season compared with just going to the mall to see Santa.

“It sounded fun and it’s a family outing,” she said.

Families came from all over the region and Illinois to participate.

Darrin Alderson, of Crete, has been in the race before with his son Drake, 10, and this year introduced his other son, Ryder, 4, to the event.

“I thought it was great,” Alderson said. “We love the movie. Every year you have to watch it.”

Tim Griegr and his son Dylan, 7, traveled from LaCross, Ind., to be in the race. They ended up winning Dylan’s age division.

Griegr credited the win to “how fast Dylan was on the tires.”

Derrick Magee, 12, of Highland, won his age division. His race partner/father, Myron Magee, said the wintry weather “brought everything together.”

“Its fun. It’s snowing. It’s a lovely day,” he said.

South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Speros Batistatos said the “Oh Fuuudge!” race is his favorite special event.

“It’s a great way to orient to people in the area to who we are,” he said.

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