City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Overheard: Red Bull Soapbox Race on August 29

Joel Darby runs for the finish after his vehicle crashed. AJC/Brant Sanderlin

The Red Bull Soapbox Race near Piedmont Park was just as ridiculous as you think it should be: huge crowds of some 40,000 people, last I heard, costumed people completely dedicated to the cause of crossing the finish line and sunshine trying to cook us all.

Indeed, 10th Street was closed, lined with hay bales and thousands of onlookers waving fans and ringing cowbells. (As noisemakers go, the cowbells were effective, but not obnoxious. Good job, Red Bull!)

To get a true taste of what it was like, I highly recommend photographer Brant Sanderlin’s photo gallery of soapbox race oddities. I’ll try to post more photos and video later, too.

Meanwhile, a sampling of what you would’ve heard, had you been there. Other than cowbell, of course.

Announcer: “You injured Chuck Norris!”
Team member: “You can’t injure Chuck Norris.”
— Announcer to team member, after a Chuck Norris-themed car killed Chuck Norris.

“It was supposed to be blowing bubbles right now.”
— Obviously disappointed announcer

“All you kids — hay bales are dangerous.”
— Dude in a hot dog suit, after crashing his Varsity-themed car

“Give it up for this guy, he’s wearing a hot dog suit.”
— Announcer, making it clear what wins respect around here.

“I’m still shaking a little — I got a lot of air, huh?”
— Driver of the pink flamingo-themed car, which made great time.

“He’s going to be feeling that all the way back to Wisconsin.”
— Announcer on the driver of a car that came all the way from the Midwest, then crashed.

“If you had a panda costume, wouldn’t you have a panda on your team?”
— Guys with a panda-costumed teammate, for no obvious reason

“We’re 100 percent confident we’re going to finish — hey, we’re all engineers!”
— Typical soapbox trash talk

“Does anyone out there like beer?”
— Announcer, who gently reminded everyone that there’s no drinking before racing

“Good tricks? Wrecks? Mullets? What else is going to earn points for us?”
— Announcer, failing to see the pattern in points

“I feel like the Simon.”
— Celeb judge Bert Weiss, on why he gave a 5 when others gave a 10

“We might make the turn, but we will lose this race.”
— Typical soapbox humility

“Naked men everywhere!”
— Announcer, just after the Fur Bus crashed — you can see the carnage in the photo posted above.

Overhear something hilarious (but family friendly) at the soapbox race? Post it in the comments!

8 comments Add your comment

Jamie Gumbrecht

August 31st, 2009
11:30 pm

Seriously… It’s a mix. The blogging and breaking news teams were created to get good information posted online as quickly as possible. That means that writers take on more responsibility for getting it right the first time, but problems inevitably slip through. Thankfully, it’s also pretty simple to update info and to correct errors and typos. If it’s a particularly complicated or tense issue, we’ll toss the post or news burst to an editor, just to be safe. (Stories by the beat writers and Sunday staff are usually created with a print-first, online-second philosophy, and those usually go through an editor or two. Not as many as we once had, but it’s something.) Thank you for understanding! I do the best I can, but it can be a lot. I guess the system works: my last AJC blog was lucky to get three posts a week. I’m doing that in a day now. Even now, my fingers are feeling a bit like jelly. :)

seriously.... (again)

August 31st, 2009
10:11 pm

Jamie — thanks for being cool about it, and correcting the error! I’m surprised the on-line content of the AJC doesn’t go through an editor. Is that for the whole site, or just the blogs?

Jamie Gumbrecht

August 31st, 2009
5:49 pm

Seriously…the bloggers don’t have editors. Everything you’re seeing here has generally passed through my eyes only, and we’re all human. After many hours in the hot sun, everybody makes mistakes! However, it’s corrected now! Thanks!


August 31st, 2009
5:03 pm

I don’t criticize grammar in comments, but I think a journalist is fair game — it is hay bales, not BAILS. How’d that get past the writer AND the editor???


August 30th, 2009
9:20 pm

Awwww the Chili Dog Explosion crashed? Bless their hearts


August 30th, 2009
1:10 am

how did team clermont do? so tired of trying to save the pandas – they have a nice home in china… we need to save the clermont lounge! h8 foreclosures/mortgages/the concept of money.

Jamie Gumbrecht

August 29th, 2009
9:00 pm

“Block party.” Not sure how traffic feels about it, but it sounds like a great idea, Chris. The neighbors seemed to be good sports about a soapbox strip in front of their houses. Maybe it’ll happen!


August 29th, 2009
7:49 pm

Thanks Red Bull for bringing good times and fun to Atlanta. It was awesome to see so many folks gathering on the street to have a good time. Blocking off Tenth Street should happen again soon for
a nice block party with dancing and some good cooking.