There are still a few people who will ask: “What is the Farmer’s Filthy 5” – an event which was held on June 6 at Stenen. The answer makes them proud to be from this part of the province.
The Farmer’s Filthy 5 (FF5) is a grueling five-kilometer obstacle race which starts at the Rawhide’s grounds in Stenen and it raised about $15,000 for the Saskatchewan children’s hospital initiative. It has 12
obstacles, including a few different mud pits, a triple wall climb, a rail tie carry, a log balance, a tractor push, a sled pull, a swamp run, a “greased pig” carry and a tractor tire flip.
While it is called a race, most participants treat it more as a test of their self endurance, said Nicole Korpusik, one of the organizers. Times are kept but for most it is a badge of honour just to say they completed the course.
To make sure the event is open to everyone, the FF5 also offers a one kilometer and a three-kilometre race, with obstacles of a similar nature, for youngsters aged four to 12 years.
“We had 165 participants ranging in age from four to 70 years,” said Korpusik. The 70-year-old competitor was on the team which came in at second place.
“We have an individual race where the participants do each obstacle on his or her own and then we have the team event where the racers register as a team of two to six members and complete the obstacles together,” she said. “This is by far the most popular way to experience the FF5!”
When the times were posted “our quickest individual was Randal Hoeber, who completed the course in 39 minutes and 45 seconds and our quickest team was the Massey Ferguson 860’s who came in at 35 minutes 36 seconds. The second-place team was Operation Co-operation with a time of 38 minutes and 33 seconds.”
“Most participants come out not to get the fastest time but to have fun, get muddy and do something different while raising money for a great cause!”
This is the second year for FF5 and the proceeds from both events are being donated to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan in memory of Iron Will Rattray. Most people from this area did not know the young boy who became known as “Iron Will Rattray” but Korpusik did
as she was friends with the boy’s parents. The Rattray family did visit Korpusik and the Norquay area a few times before he died – just after his first birthday.
Rattray spent most of his short life in Edmonton at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, said Korpusik. “That meant he and his family were away from their home and their support system during one of the most difficult times in their lives.”
The hardships of being so far from home with a sick child is a story that resonates with everyone, she said. It’s the kind of story that tugs on the heart strings and encourages people to want to help – to make a difference.
“Will was a fighter and smiled through all of his battles,” said Korpusik. When a local fundraiser was first being planned as part of the much bigger effort to bring a children’s hospital to Saskatchewan, it was the memory of Will’s smile and the strength he showed that led to the creation of the “smile through it” motto. “We thought that was also a perfect motto for the Farmer’s Filthy 5.” Korpusik said, “Will and his family are an example of why we are in desperate need for a children’s hospital in Saskatchewan. Last year we raised over $17,000 for the CHFS and this year we are going to come close to that as well.”
Weeks after the event, donations were still coming in so Korpusik was still unable to give a total for this year, but said it will be well over $15,000.
There was secondary fundraiser run with the main event, she said. This year FF5 T-shirts were sold and the recipient of those funds is an organization called Teagan’s Voice, which is an organization started by Gabe and Stephanie Batstone after their eight-year old daughter was murdered.
Again, people may not know the family but their story is one that resonates and people feel the need to do something – anything to make a difference, said Korpusik. The website for Teagan’s voice says her family was “determined to initiate change to protect the world’s most valuable resource - our children (www.teagansvoice.com).”
Korpusik said that the FF5 came together by people wanting to initiate change and she expects the event to keep growing each year. Rawhides
has become the organizers’ partner and there are a number of other “very generous sponsors.”
So when people ask what is the Farmer’s Filthy 5, Korpusik says the generic answer is that it is a fun, filthy, farm-based obstacle race for all ages. It is really a part of a much wider effort to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. Families now have to go outside the province when the services of a children’s hospital are needed but: “Luckily, those days are numbered thanks in part to the many generous people who participate and donate to events like FF5!”