Soapbox derby rolls into Greenfield

  • Sixteen competitors participated in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Sunday, traveling down Nash’s Mill Road. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

  • Sixteen competitors participated in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Sunday, traveling down Nash’s Mill Road. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

  • Sixteen competitors participated in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Sunday, traveling down Nash’s Mill Road. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

  • Sixteen competitors participated in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Sunday, traveling down Nash’s Mill Road. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

  • Sixteen competitors participated in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Sunday, traveling down Nash’s Mill Road. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

  • Sixteen competitors participated in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Sunday, traveling down Nash’s Mill Road. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

  • Eventual adult winner Jim Roberge of Greenfield, at left, pulls ahead in the Greenfield Soapbox Derby on Nash’s Mill Road on Sunday. Contributed Photo/David Rainville

Staff Writer
Published: 9/13/2021 9:37:14 AM

GREENFIELD — Soapbox racing in Franklin County experienced a quiet revival on Sunday, when 16 racers took to Nash’s Mill Road.

Although soapbox racing has been held in Montague, most recently in 2013, race organizer Mik Muller said Sunday’s event marked Greenfield’s first time hosting a soapbox race. While audience turnout was “lower than expected,” Muller is hopeful for more spectators at the race in Montague next weekend.

Greenfield’s Jim Roberge won the race for adults (20 years old and older) with a total time of 71.15 seconds (35.84 seconds in the first heat and 35.31 seconds in the second heat). Northfield’s Sam Bodenstein won the race for teenagers (13 to 19 years old), with a total time of 158.13 seconds (104.16 seconds in the first heat, 53.97 seconds in the second heat). Lastly, Elizabeth Terwilliger of Glastonbury, Conn., took home the gold in the kids race (for ages 8 to 12), with a total time of 70.47 seconds (35.79 seconds in the first heat, 34.68 seconds in the second heat).

Two style trophies, crafted by Greenfield artisans Rachael Katz and Rick Roy, were also awarded. Katz’s trophy, the bee-themed “Buzziest” trophy, was awarded to Greenfield Recorder photographer Paul Franz, who drove a replica antique fire truck cart built by Turners Falls Fire Chief John Zellmann Jr. for the 2013 race in Montague. Roy’s trophy, a wooden plaque for “The Most Creative Use of Wood,” was awarded to Sam Bodenstein.

Muller wrote that the race was a “success” on his website, greenfieldsoapboxraces.com. He added that “everyone had a great time.”

Muller said he is optimistic that Montague’s race, which will be held Sunday, Sept. 19, at noon at Unity Park’s hill on First Street in Turners Falls, will be even more successful. As of Monday, 32 carts were registered to race. Muller encourages racers who raced in Greenfield on Sunday to reprise their roles as drivers at Montague’s race.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.




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