Benson Park Overtaken by Creative Characters

March 24, 2017


by David S. Morin

Some Vikings, a crocodile, a giant piece of pizza and a group of party animals were just a few of the sleds that took over Benson Park for the Mal’s Pal’s Cool Runners Cardboard Sled Race on March 18.

The teams and a few helpers created unique sleds from cardboard boxes, paint and a lot of duct tape and tested how they worked on a snowy hill at the annual sled race.

A variety of handmade sleds lined up at the top of Benson’s Sled Hill before the race and were judged in categories, such as Best Theme and Most Creative.

The sled race hosted by Mal’s Pal’s has taken place for the past few years.  Organizer Jeremy Griffus said they had to cancel the race earlier in the year because of snow and weather conditions.  On this day warm temperatures, bright sun and plenty of snow made for a perfect day for the race.

Many spectators lined the edge of the course located across from the 9/11 Memorial in the park.

The fastest sled was the iPhone piloted by Racheal Stevens completing the run in six seconds.  She built her sled in the design as the popular Apple iPhone.

Tosha Mitchell, 9, Shadelyn Mitchell, 2, and Jaxon Salmon, 4, are veterans of the race competing in past races.  The three captained the Viking Boat.  Each dressed in Viking horns, fur coats and weapons.  The Vikings sailed into third place in the youth category race with a time of 6.7 seconds and were awarded the most creative trophy.

Caleb LeBlone, 11, dressed as a croc hunter, rode down the hill in a sled shaped like a big, 8-foot crocodile.

Coming down the hill was a little tough for several of the competitors as they lost control of their sleds, several rolling over or crashing off the track.  Spectators would help the sledders get back on the track and back into the race to cross the finish line.

Winners in the Best Theme Youth Category were first place iPhone, second place Mystery Machine and third place Red Sox Rocket Ship.  The Best Theme Adult Category sled went to Benson’s Party Animals.

Winners in the Most Creative Youth Category were first place Viking Boat, second place Ice Racer and third place Cheetah Racer.  The adult category for Most Creative went to Pizza The Hot.

Race winners in the youth category were first place iPhone with a time of six seconds, second place Barbie Dream House with a time of 6.03 seconds and third place went to Viking Boat with a time of 6.7 seconds.

Race winners in the adult category first place went to Pizza the Hot and a second place finish went to Benson’s Party Animals.