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World Championship Of Shovel Racing Is Weirdest Winter Sport You Didn’t Know Existed

flickr / Lynn Eubank

Sure, you could dig out your kid’s dusty, plastic sled from the garage. Or you can head to the hill this winter with the tool you’ll be using to clear the driveway. Because the shovel is a damn fine way of flying down the mountain.

Don’t think you’d be the only one. This year marks the 38th Annual World Championship Shovel Races, which take place in New Mexico on February 3 and 4. That’s right, people have been luging with lawn equipment for at least 38 years. And to think you’ve been buying sleds this whole time like a sucker.

Hosted every year by the Angel Fire Resort — not to be confused with Angelfire, the 1996 web host — the event doubles as a Mardi Gras celebration (it’s family friendly so the only exposed breasts are for baby drinking games.) The tournament is broken up into age divisions that accept children as young as 6. Women have their own bracket, too, so there’s no need to have competition drive you and the missus apart. Shovel top speeds don’t exceed 60 miles per hour, but all participants are required to wear goggles and helmets.

Can’t make it to New Mexico? Don’t worry. All you really need to duplicate the on-slope shenanigans is a shovel, a hill, and a butt. It’s good fun. Plus, introducing this type of sledding to your kids is a great way to get them used to a shovel — and you one step closer to less yard work.