The Moat

Josh Brooks

This guy put the proverbial icing on the cake, but his icing was vomit.

It's a tradition at Tampa to have the moat race every year, which includes a bunch of kids (there was one oddly placed grown-up this year, however; probably the tough economic times) running through the trench out front in a race for product. The masses all file out of the park to enjoy the madness and line up along the stagnant sh*t water. It's horrible. For example, as I was in the slaughterhouse line on the way out, feeling like a corralled pig, I heard some dude say, "It's nasty, man. I heard there's mercury in there."

Josh Brooks

The peanut gallery got the crowd to do the wave.


Outside, people were surrounding the thing. Everybody was downing their Red Bulls and Gatorades and tossing whatever garbage they could find into the still swamp water. It definitely wasn't a testament to environmentalism, but it was one hell of a spectacle. One guy, who looked like he had been on a bender for the last three days (because that's pretty much what Tampa is), even went to the length of puking his stomach's contents into the moat to further belittle the contestants. On the bridge, a group of kids had their shirts off, preparing themselves mentally and physically for their boot camp bullsh*t river race. One runner even had a number Sharpied on his back to rep his crew, I guess.

Josh Brooks

Ryan Clements announced the finals results. You can read them in one of the prior posts.


When the thing started on the other side of a bridge, the putrid contents of the spill off water was released in an odor you could almost hold in your hands it was so thick. It was something like the stink of a sulfur fart and a metallic smell of a foundry. The dudes all mucked themselves up real bad and panted their way through the knee to waist high water for the golden prizes—a board and wheels and some other schwag.

Josh Brooks

The contestants getting the rule run down.


One poor kid got a cut on his back. I was relieved when I came out after the race finished to see he had hosed himself off and had a medic clean the cut. I'm pretty certain you could get a horrible, horrible disease from that detritus, mercury and vomit-filled water. Just another day at Tampa.—Josh Brooks

Josh Brooks

And they're off.



To see more pics of the madness, click below.
Josh Brooks

You can see the looks of regret on their faces.

Josh Brooks

People started to slow down about half way.

Josh Brooks

The filthy finish line.

Josh Brooks
Josh Brooks

Entertaining, yes. Worth it? Probably not.

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