If you have ever wondered what it was like to witness a bathtub race, then this is the event for you. The Stuart Pennington Running Of The Tubs is held each May (on the 18th this year) in Hot Springs. The race was created in 2006 as a nod to the city’s fabled thermal waters. The annual event takes place on Bathhouse Row and centers around costumed teams pushing wheeled bathtubs full of water and a bather the length of the Row.
The rules change every year, especially after the race has started, but fundamental rules always apply. A glimpse at some of the rules from past races:
• Of the four members pushing the tub, one must carry a large bar of soap, one must carry a nice bath mat, one must wear a loofah mitt and one must carry a bath towel.
• The four team members pushing the tubs must wear hats of some type and shape and also some suspenders.
• No motors or mechanical devices can be used to push the tub.
• Four members of the team must power the tub, which will contain the fifth member, plus water.
• The bathtub must be full of water at the start of the race and have at least 10 gallons of water left in the tub at the finish line.
• The fifth member of the team must be in the bathtub, taking a bath from the start of the race to the official finish line.
The race is named in honor of the late Stuart Pennington, a longtime business leader in Hot Springs. For more information contact Chrissy Egleston, special events manager at Visit Hot Springs and coordinator of the race at 501-321-2027 or the Visit Hot Springs website: www.hotsprings.org.